so, as if you didn’t already have enough ways to overindulge this holiday season, let me add another to the pot. i first made this ice cream last year about this time. i liked it so well that i made it 3 more times. in a row. like as soon as i ran out, i had to have more. it’s a nice treat during the holidays because it can (and must) be made ahead of time. it’s kinda nice to know that if all else fails in the meal, at least there’s this beautiful, silky, pumpkiny concoction waiting dutifully in the freezer.
i need to keep it short this time so i can get back to planning my thanksgiving meal, but i will say that if you’re feeling frisky, you can substitute some of the cream with pumpkin ale. it’s real good.
pumpkin ice cream (makes 1 quart)
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree* or canned unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream (substitute 1/2 cup pumpkin ale -i used dogfish ale punkin ale- for 1/2 cup of heavy cream if desired)
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
a pinch or a few gratings of fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp bourbon (substitute with more pumpkin ale, if using above)
a handful of good quality gingersnaps
in a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree and vanilla. set aside in fridge for a few hours so that flavors have a chance to influence each other.
in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, gently heat 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 1/2 cup brown sugar. cook into bubbles form around edges of mixture, about 5 minutes. watch closely-do not let boil!
meanwhile, in a bowl combine together egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, , nutmeg, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream (or pumpkin ale!) and 1/4 cup brown sugar. whisk until well combined.
remove cream mixture from heat. gently mix about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. (and guess what, fancy pants? you are tempering your eggs! who knew?) pour egg mixture into pan of cream and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it coats the back of the spoon, about 4-6 minutes. carefully (it’s hot!) draw a line through mixture on back of spoon-it should leave a clear trail. again, do not boil! pour through a fine mesh strainer or sieve to remove any lumps.
place the bowl into a larger bowl of ice water to cool mixture quickly, stirring occasionally to cool more quickly and prevent a ‘skin’ from forming. once cooled, add pumpkin mixture and stir until well-combined. cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface of mixture. refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but honestly, you will have the best results if you can chill it 12-24 hours.
transfer your custard to your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. add bourbon or pumpkin ale, if using, during last few minutes of churning. place in freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 3-4 hours and up to a week. serve with crumbled gingersnaps on top!
* to make fresh pumpkin puree, cut 1 large or 2 small sugar pumpkins (do not use regular field or carving pumpkins) into large chunks or quarters; remove stems. roast in shallow pan, cut sides down, with a little water on the bottom in 400 degree oven until tender, about 1 hour. when cooled, remove skins, seeds and stringy material. push through a sieve or food mill. freeze any leftover puree in a plastic bag with air removed. recipe states can freeze up to 2 months, but honestly, if you freeze correctly, it will keep for up to a year!