Pumpkin Ice Cream

After spending some time getting our big freezer all organized and ready to go for winter, we realized we still had some leftover pumpkin puree from last year's harvest. Since our new crop of pumpkins and butternut squash will soon be ready to bring in, we need to use this up:

I'm not quite ready to give up on summer yet, so I thought I'd combine summer and fall flavors by giving pumpkin ice cream a try. I used my pumpkin pie recipe for reference, and you should check it out if you're interested in preparing fresh pumpkin to use. If you don't feel up for that, a 20-oz. can of pumpkin should work just fine.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
20 oz. pumpkin puree, thawed to room temperature
1 cup milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, loose (don't pack it in tightly; you actually want slightly less than 1/2 cup)
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. cloves
2 dashes of nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup half and half
2 cups heavy cream

1. Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat on medium until bubbles just form around the edges. Turn off heat and stir in both types of sugar until dissolved:

2. Add the rest of the spices and use a whisk to blend it all in well. The cinnamon will tend to clump up in powdery blobs, so the whisk is much better than a spoon to break it all up evenly. Add the rest of the liquid and stir well. You may want to stand over it and just breathe in the aroma for a bit as well:

3. Chill the mixture for about 45 minutes in the fridge (most easily done in the canister you use with your ice cream maker), then take it out and re-whisk to get the spices up off of the bottom. Add your pumpkin puree and stir well, then get the ice cream maker going for however long that takes (usually another 45 minutes for us).

4. Scoop the slushy ice cream out of the machine's canister and into a half-gallon container to freeze for another few hours before you eat it:

Even with all the spices, the pumpkin flavor really comes through, and it made it a very pretty light orange color, with spicy brown flecks throughout. Pretty and delicious! This would be excellent with warm gingerbread, or perhaps with some apple pie. It's also yummy with a ginger molasses cookie from the Buttermilk Baking Company:

Next time I might make ice cream sandwiches out of this combination!


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