You don’t need me to tell you what time of year it is. All you need to do is look at a few food blogs or cooking magazines to know it’s pumpkin season. Pumpkin recipes are everywhere right now, and that’s okay by me because why shouldn’t we celebrate seasonal bounty? And what better way to celebrate than by making Pumpkin Ice Cream?
Having some people over for a fall-themed dinner? Here’s a menu for you. Start with this roasted carrot, squash and apple soup (thinned with an extra two cups of water to make it a lovely consistency for a starter). The main course features hearty, warming Hungarian goulash and this autumnal ginger-scented celery, fennel and golden beet slaw.
There’s no doubt in my mind that dessert for an autumnal dinner needs to shine the light on pumpkin, and so my fall-themed menu does with not one, not two, but a trio of pumpkin treats. It features maple pecan pumpkin bars as well as this pumpkin ice cream, garnished with pepita brittle.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
I have a seldom-used but nonetheless handy hand-turned ice cream maker. It’s a fun way to make a special dessert. It just takes a bit of planning ahead to ensure both the custard base and the cylinder (if you have a machine like mine) thoroughly chill out before churning the luscious ice cream. Not a problem, because one of the keys to a successful dinner party is doing as much work as possible ahead of time anyway.
Now back to the ice cream…. It uses pumpkin purée, either homemade or canned, eggs, cream and the classic warming spices — how can you go wrong with ingredients like this?
A bit of cooking, a bit of chilling, and some fun churning later, and there you have it: a dessert that calls out “fall” and will have your guests calling for seconds.
Pumpkin Trifecta Presentation Idea
When being all fancy and serving a trio of pumpkin desserts, I like to use a narrow plate and place a small dish of pumpkin ice cream adorned with the pepita brittle on one side with a maple pecan pumpkin square on the other. But hey, follow your imagination!
And speaking of presentation, just for the record, it has not escaped my attention that the scoops of ice cream pictured here look like a bum in a bowl. Most unfortunate food styling. Good thing I’m easily entertained.
Let’s Make Pumpkin Ice Cream
Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 1-1/2 cups cream (I used 18% but you could use whipping cream)
- 1 cup pumpkin purée homemade or canned (make sure canned purée is plain, not seasoned)
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a metal bowl or the top of a double boiler, and then incorporate the milk. Place over a pot with an inch of water that's been brought to the boil and is now at a high simmer, and, over medium heat, stir the mixture constantly. Cook until it's slightly thickened. The custard will coat the back of a spoon and the path of a finger swiped down it will stay open. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into another bowl (if there are any bits of scrambled egg in the custard, you don't want them in your ice cream!). Whisk in the cream, pumpkin purée and spices. Cover and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
- Proceed to churn the ice cream according to your machine's instructions. If not serving right away, place it in a bowl, cover well and freeze. Allow at least 15 minutes at room temperature so the ice cream can soften and be lusciously scoopable. (I confess, I didn't wait long enough, and it was some work to scoop mine out.)
Looking for More Pumpkin Dessert Ideas?
First Published 2014 10 06
Republished 2017 10 31
Republished 2021 10 07