Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

I love ice cream. This was fostered by my father eating a bowl of ice cream after dinner whenever he was home. When we earned dessert after becoming a member of the "Clean Plate Club" it was usually a bowl of ice cream. Heavenly Hash and Coffee were my first favorite flavors which gave way to a whole slew of Ben & Jerry's flavors as I got older with New York Super Fudge Chunk being my ultimate. You may notice a trend here, a chocolate trend. Chocolate with nuts and all kinds of add-ins. While I still love me some New York Super Fudge Chunk since I've moved to Toronto I've found a new love. A love that is familiar to any ice cream fanatic in Toronto and especially in the East End. Ed's Real Scoop. While all of Ed's flavors are pretty great, I mean you can't go wrong with home made ice cream, nothing compares to their Pumpkin Ice Cream. Available only in the fall it's amazingly delicious, perfectly creamy and balanced with just the right amount of spice. I love it. I'd eat it every day if it wasn't completely irresponsible.

This past summer, the boy and I would go to Ed's about once a week. Lucky for me he can appreciate my ice cream obsession even if he only alternates between Strawberry or Callebaut Milk Chocolate. Convincing him to get ice cream was easy in the balmy days of summer, but as the chilly night air of fall is currently upon us, he thinks I'm nuts to want to go for ice cream. I'm convinced this is because he hasn't tried the Pumpkin. I begrudgingly offer him a bit every time I get it, and yet he always declines. I think he's nuts, but then again I'm the queen of tasting everything.

Rather than try to convince the boy every other night to go for ice crean and since I have a freezer full of pumpkin, I decided I'd try my hand at making my own Pumpkin Ice Cream. Except I call mine Pumpkin Pie because I used spices from my Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Recipe. I also didn't want to use ground spices, as I wanted a nice smooth texture for my ice cream. I figured the only way to do this was to steep whole spices, so I borrowed a recipe from the King of Ice Cream, David Liebovitz (which he had borrowed from The Craft of Baking) and tweaked it to work for my vision.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
makes approx 1 quart

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 inch fresh ginger root - peeled
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg seed
2 whole cloves
1/4 tsp kosher salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
optional - 2 tsp Grand Marnier, run or brandy

3/4 cup canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree

1. In a medium saucepan mix the milk, cream, granulated sugar, ginger, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
2. Warm the mixture until hot and the edges begin to bubble and foam. Remove from heat, cover and let sit and steep for 1 hour.
3. Make an ice bath by putting some ice and water in a large bowl and nest a smaller metal bowl (one that will hold at least 2 quarts) inside it. Set a mesh strainer over the top.
4. After the cream mixture has steeped return to heat and warm until the edges begin to bubble and foam. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl and gradually whisk in about half the warm milk mixture to temper the yolks. Remember to stir constantly.
5. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula until the mixture thickens and coats the spatual. If using an instant read thermometer, it should read 160F - 170F.
6. Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the bowl nested in the ice bath. Mix in the brown sugar, then stir until cook and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
7. Whisk in the vanilla, liquor (if using) and pumpkin puree. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, then freeze your ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions.

I'm so happy with how this ice cream turned out, especially since it was only the third time I've used the ice cream maker I got as a wedding shower gift last May. While the pumpkin flavor is in the forefront, there is some really great spice making it taste just like pumpkin pie. I actually think that this ice cream pressed into a graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust would make an amazing alternative to a traditional pumpkin pie. While I love that I made such a delicious ice cream at home, I'll still be frequenting Ed's for his delicious pumpkin whenever I can convince the boy to join me. But this is a great alternative for those of you not in the GTA!

I served it with Ms. Martha Stewart's Molasses Ginger Crisps which made for an amazing pairing. The recipe was recommended by Mama Shack and the idea of a ginger cookie with the ice cream came via Twitter from @boneats. Thanks ladies!



The Domestic Diva said...

This looks so amazing! I need to get an icecream machine...

Jen ;)

Jen H said...

David Liebovitz posted a method to make ice cream without a machine that sounds pretty simple. I want a sous vide supreme or whatever your new fancy machine is!