This pumpkin ice cream recipe is so simple and foolproof, all you need to worry about is how to have sufficient self-restraint so as not to demolish the entire batch before guests arrive. An inspired gluten-free alternative to pumpkin pie.
Yes, pumpkin ice cream. Even though the pumpkin spice everything craze has left some of us less than enthusiastic about pumpkin spice anything, this pumpkin ice cream recipe has swayed us. It’s spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and sweetened with molasses and brown sugar. Perfectly so, we might add. It’s gluten-free, natch, so it’s a holiday dessert that everyone can belly up to at the table. And it’s so darn lovely, it may make you forget all about the pie. This recipe has been updated. Originally published November 23, 2015.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Special Equipment: 1-quart (or larger) ice cream maker
Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Makes about 1 quart (1 liter)
- 2 cups (16 ounces or 500 milliliters) heavy cream
- 2/3 cup (5 ounces or 155 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light molasses (do NOT substitute blackstrap molasses)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup (8 ounces or 250 grams) canned unsweetened pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1. In a saucepan off the heat, combine 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces/375 milliliters) cream, the brown sugar, and molasses and stir to blend. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and the remaining 1/2 cup (4 ounces/125 milliliters) cream until well blended.
- 2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, just until bubbles form around the edges and the sugar dissolves, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and slowly pouring the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. When almost all of the hot liquid has been incorporated, slowly pour the warmed yolk mixture back into the saucepan, still whisking constantly. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard [Editor’s Note: Yep, you just made a custard!] is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes.
- 3. Pour the hot custard through a strainer into a clean bowl, gently pressing the liquid through the sieve with the back of the spoon. Stir the pumpkin purée and vanilla into the custard just until blended.
- 4. Place the bowl with the custard into a larger bowl filled halfway with ice water and let cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard and refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours.
- 5. Prepare an ice cream maker with at least a 1 quart (1 liter) capacity according to the manufacturer’s directions. Pour the custard into the ice cream maker and churn until the custard reaches the consistency of thick whipped cream. Transfer to a plastic freezer container, cover tightly, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
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