Ignore the cold weather. The flavors of the season and all the extra baking call for a scoop of homemade pumpkin ice cream.
At this point in the year, I walk around our apartment in multiple sweatshirts, wearing a hat, and cocooning myself in a blanket whenever I’m sitting. I monotonously profess, “It’s so cold” to the point even the dogs seem to know what I am saying.
At this point in the year, the warmth of the oven is a bigger motivation to bake than the sweet reward. I run cold, and yet, as cold as I am, I will always say yes to ice cream, so here’s a short and sweet plug for making homemade pumpkin ice cream.
Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream
Adapted ever so slightly from the cookbook Alternative Baker, this recipe starts by infusing milk with whole cinnamon sticks, a vanilla bean pod, and fresh ginger for a warm, spiced aroma. These fragrant moments in the process remind me to pause even if it’s just for a minute, to take in the smell, look out my kitchen window, and enjoy the moment.
This homemade pumpkin ice cream pairs well with Apple Sweet-Potato Pie, or a slice of Pumpkin Chai Cake. There’s no reason to reserve ice cream sammies for the summer, so sandwich a scoop between two gluten-free Pumpkin-Butter Cookies or Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies made with rye and spelt flours.
Are You Here for the Dogs?
After braving the cold of ice cream, take a cue from Maple Le and return to safe, cozy space. The world can wait.
You Might Also Like: Black & Gold Cheesecake Bars
If the pumpkin ice cream makes you crave a pumpkin spice latte, these swirled cheesecake bars will have you craving golden milk lattes. This recipe from my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook, offers all the comforts (and health benefits!) of turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves with a rich, brownie base. Enjoy!
Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream
- Ice Cream Maker
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup (45 g) coconut sugar
- 4 cinnamon sticks (about 3 inches each)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp (8 g) coarsely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup (78 g) maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk with the sugar, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, ginger, vanilla pod and seeds, and salt, swirling occasionally until the mixture begins to steam and small bubbles appear around the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat, cover, and steep for 30 minutes.
- Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl, and place the bowl on a damp towel to stabilize it. Re-warm the milk mixture to steaming, and then drizzle it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. (This is called 'tempering,' and it prevents the yolks from scrambling.)
- Return the custard mixture to the pot, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-proof silicone spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot, just until the mixture begins to 'stick' (form a thin film over the bottom of the pot, and/or registers 170ºF on an instant-read thermometer.
- Immediately remove the pot from the heat, and whisk in the cream, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and nutmeg.
- Cover the mixture and chill for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days.
- For creamier ice cream, place the ice cream mixture in the freezer for 15 minutes, stirring the mixture twice during that time.
- Process the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then scrape it into a container, cover, and 'cure' in the freezer until firm enough to scoop, 1-2 hours. The ice cream will keep, covered, in the freezer for up to several months, though it is best within the first few days of being churned.