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Pumpkin Ice Cream


There is a lot of panic in the food world over the pumpkin shortage this year.  I was not having any luck finding pumpkin where we live (and we live in a decent size city), but when I went to our college town about 45 minutes away, I decided to check out the grocery stores there.  Luckily, they had some pumpkin, so I stocked up and bout four 29-ounce cans 🙂  I’ve been waiting to try this ice cream for a long time now.  I’ve had Edy’s pumpkin ice cream once and really liked it, so I knew the homemade version would be even better!  I enjoy ice cream all year, and love fall and winter when I can try ice cream with seasonal flavors.  I can’t wait for peppermint ice cream at Christmas!  Anyway, this was your typical custard-based ice cream.  It was nice and creamy, and had a strong pumpkin flavor.  The pumpkin flavor wasn’t too strong, though, and was nicely balanced by the cinnamon and ginger.  It really had the perfect mix of fall flavors and was everything I was hoping for!  A scoop of this ice cream would go perfectly with a pumpkin brownie or a pumpkin blondie.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
Source: Williams-Sonoma


1 cup fresh pumpkin puree or canned
unsweetened pumpkin puree

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

5 egg yolks

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. salt

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 Tbs. bourbon


In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups of the cream and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4 to 6 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.

Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water, stirring occasionally until cool. Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the custard. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions. Add the bourbon during the last minute of churning. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. Makes about 1 quart.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Ice Cream, by Mary Goodbody (Simon & Schuster, 2003).


12 Responses

  1. Yeah – what’s this I hear about a pumpkin shortage? Fortunately, I have 2 large cans in the pantry, but no one’s really into it the way I am. So I’m safe!

    I love the ice cream – and I’ll bet it’s so much better than Edy’s.

  2. Wow that looks great!
    Pumpkin shortage? Interesting. Canned pumpkin isn’t something one would normally buy in Australia (I have to get mine from a specialty US food store to make pumpkin pie) and our pumkins are different, in fact what you call butternut squash is pumpkin here! We also use pumpkin as a vegetable, not dessert. Wow, I’m rambling about pumpkin! I’m always fascinated by the pumkin differences between Australia and the US 🙂

  3. Yum… my hubby has been asking me to make this, so I may have to do it sometimes soon! 😉

  4. I’ve had this recipe on my “favorites” to try soon. I love pumpkin ice cream.

  5. Another fantastic ice cream recipe! I go shopping tomorrow , hopefully my store has pumpkin so I can stock up!

  6. A perfect ice cream for fall! I may have to get my ice cream attachment back out to make this!

  7. Pumpkin ice cream is my husband’s favorite (seriously – he stocks up at this time of year and keeps it as long as he can). I think I really need to surprise him with a homemade version (plus maybe then…we won’t need to have gallons of pumpkin ice cream sitting in our freezer in May! lol!). This recipe sounds great!

  8. A girl after my own heart! This looks delicious!

  9. I finally found canned pumpkin and bought 8 cans! But, I’ve already used two and feel like I should go back so I can hoard more..lol.

    Your ice cream looks fantastic!

  10. Ahhh….I need to find my ice cream maker so badly!

  11. you are KILLING ME. I must have some now!

  12. […] fab pumpkin desserts: Pumpkin Ice Cream, Dinner and Dessert Pumpkin Mousse Roll, My Columbian Recipes Pumpkin Moon Cake, Edible Antics […]

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