In lieu of pumpkin spice season, I decided that a recipe like this one was overdue. Yes you are thinking, why make ice cream when you can just go and buy some for a couple bucks in the supermarket—let alone make ice cream in the winter?
Well, first of all this ice cream tastes amazing and worth the work.
When you walk into the supermarket, you are hit with these bright fluorescent lights and an overwhelming amount of choices to make. Walking down the dairy aisle, you must choose whether you want 2%,1%, whole, skim, almond, cashew, and countless types of milk (not to mention the brand you want). You purchase the milk for a few dollars or so and take it home all within the span of an hour. This is something that has become a mindless action. Do you ever stop to think where that carton of milk came from? Obviously, it was not always on that refrigerator shelf. The same goes for any other product in the store, including ice cream. Your favorite treat was part of a large batch in a factory, and packaged to be shipped to your supermarket joining the countless other brands and flavors sitting on that shelf. Of course, this is super convenient, and saves a bunch of time, however there is less meaning in what you are consuming. When you create something on your own, there is more pride and value in the product of your efforts. The reason I love cooking is because the plate is a canvas for creativity and it provides the opportunity to experience food in a more fun way. So, maybe just stop for a second before reaching for that carton of ice cream in that familiar supermarket situation. Unless you know someone who has a cow, I don’t recommend doing the same with milk.
Anyways, making your own ice cream gives you a lot of freedom and obviously control as to what you put in it. Most of the time, supermarket ice cream has ingredients like corn syrup and guar gum which is gross. One day, as I was chowing down on some ice cream, I noticed that nowhere on the container did it say exactly what it was, which makes me suspicious. All this dessert is supposed to have is heavy cream, sugar, eggs, milk, flavoring—no BS.
2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, granulated sugar, and salt. Whisk together the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
3. Whisk about half of the warm milk into the yolks, stirring constantly (this process is called tempering, which is done so that the eggs don’t scramble).
5. Scrape the warmed yolks back in to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
6. Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the heavy cream, in the bowl nested in the ice bath. Stir for a few minutes until it’s cool, then puree the custard in a blender with the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, and whiskey or brandy, if using. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.
7. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.