I love a good pumpkin pie and, while I will always make the classic recipe in the fall, I like the flavors enough to want to experiment with them. Sometimes, this means putting a twist on the pie by adding other elements and turning it into something like a Chocolate Pumpkin Pie. Other times, this means taking those pie ingredients and putting them in a different form entirely, like I did with this Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream.
This homemade ice cream really captures the flavor of pumpkin pie. The ice cream includes pumpkin puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla extract. The ice cream has a custard base, meaning that it is made with egg yolks and cream that are cooked together before freezing. This means that you’ll have to prepare the base in advance and chill it for several hours (preferably overnight) before making your ice cream, but it also means that the finished product has a richer, smoother consistency than most ice creams made with other methods. You’ll also get a good-sized batch of ice cream from this recipe (1.5 qts), so although there is some chilling time, you’ll have plenty to enjoy in the long run.
You’ll get the best results with this ice cream by using an ice cream maker. If you don’t have one, you can pour the ice cream into a loaf pan or bowl, freeze it and vigorously stir it (an electric mixer works well, as does transferring it to a food processor) every 30-45 minutes until it has frozen. But you will definitely get the best results with an ice cream maker and if you like to make ice cream at home, it is probably worth investing in one. Serve this ice cream in mini graham cracker crusts for more pumpkin pie flavor, or just top it off with some whipped cream and serve it in a nice dish.
Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium sized saucepan, combine cream, milk (you can use half and half instead of the cream/milk mixture), brown sugar and all spices. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture almost comes to a boil and all of the sugar is dissolved.
Meanwhile, whisk together pumpkin puree and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. When the cream is very hot, drizzle it into the egg mixture while whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Once the hot cream has been completely incorporated, transfer the mixture back to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with a spatula and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, until mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in vanilla extract and remove from heat.
Strain (optional, to ensure smoothness) into a large, clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
Pour chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze as directed.
Transfer to a freezer safe container and allow ice cream to firm up for 1-2 hours before serving.
Makes 1 1/2 quarts.