Pumpkin Ice Cream: third time’s the charm


I am sometimes embarrassed to admit that I am “one of those pumpkin people.” I like it, this time of year, when everything becomes pumpkin-flavored (I winced a bit recently while reading an Anthony Bourdain tweet about people like me — as I’m sure you can imagine). In my defense, I think I am reasonable with the mild obsession: I am a sucker for a pumpkin latté (I tried and failed to make my own homemade version), and love my pumpkin bread. I will, however, pass on a slice of pumpkin cheesecake, since it looks too much like a piece of pumpkin pie and I get totally thrown-off by the cheesiness of the first bite — it’s just not right (see the restraint?).

Last year, I made my first go at pumpkin ice cream. You can read about my adventures here, but basically I wasn’t satisfied with the results. The first try tasted like cold, sweet, canned pumpkin. The second recipe was a French-style custard with all the spices, but was really just too rich, with a chalky aftertaste that I could only attribute to too much pumpkin. When I read David Lebovitz’s recent post about his new version, I decided that, after a year, the pain of failure had subsided enough to try again.

A quick read gave me hope from the beginning stages: his recipe used less pumpkin, and a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream (last year’s second version used all heavy cream). The spice list called for freshly-grated ginger and nutmeg, which is always a good sign. The only drawback was the overnight refrigeration of the spiced milk before adding the pumpkin and then churning away (a stabbing realization, when you’re expecting to chill over an ice bath and have soft-serve ice cream in about 45 minutes).

It just finished churning, and I am so happy with the results. Rich, creamy, smooth, and spicy. I think I finally managed to channel the good ice cream vibes from The Hop, and came close to a good cross-country, homemade version of their original.

If you’re interested, David’s recipe can be found here. I did use canned pumpkin (I had a frozen partial-can leftover from my adventures with the above-stated lattés). Per his suggestion, I whipped up some ginger cookie dough last night (I had to do something with all that pent-up energy after realizing I wasn’t going to be eating a late-night snack of pumpkin ice cream) and plan to serve them together. If it works, a ginger cookie post will follow.

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