Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Ice Cream

This super rich, creamy pumpkin ice cream tastes like fall! I have a feeling it won't last long! I was browsing for pumpkin ice cream recipes, and though there were many decent looking ones out there, I didn't end up following one. I did notice a few trends though: 1) Use a lot of egg yolks (I usually use two or three, and most recipes said to use five), and 2) Use brown sugar instead of white. Of course, I also used skim milk!

In my standard ice cream recipe, I usually use two cups of milk and 3/4 cup of sugar. I kept that the same, using brown sugar, and I added in a cup of pumpkin puree and some pumpkin pie spices as well! Here's the recipe! I'm going into a lot of detail in the instructions in case you're new to making ice cream. For those of you who want to share the recipe, I make a step by step picture guide! Full instructions follow after the picture guide.

Pumpkin Ice Cream:
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
~1/2 tsp grated ginger (you could use ~1/4 tsp powder as well)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups skim milk
1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)

Break the egg yolks and mix in the sugar and spices (I grated the ginger straight into the bowl). I use a whisk to mix this because it distributes the egg yolks better. Heat the milk until it is hot but not boiling (I do this in the microwave). Slowly pour the milk into your egg/sugar/spice mixture. The key word here is slowly! Stir or whisk the entire time. Too much hot milk will cook the eggs, and you want to make sure not to let this happen!

Transfer the entire mixture to a pot on the stove, turn the burner on low. Whisk the mixture almost continually--just keep it moving/mixing so the eggs don't get cooked along the bottom. I use this time to do the dishes--wash one dish, whisk for ~ 20 seconds, wash another dish, etc. Once the mixture starts to look like it's breathing, don't leave its side. As soon as it starts to show a hint of boiling, turn off the heat, whisk for a few more seconds, and transfer to a bowl.

Cover the mixture with saran wrap. You want the plastic wrap to actually touch your custard (that's what you have so far) so it doesn't develop a skin (so it doesn't get hard on top). Chill it in the fridge until it's cold (I usually do this overnight). Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker, and freeze it according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Once it is the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, transfer the ice cream to a container for long term storage in the freezer (DO NOT put your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer). For hard, scoopable ice cream, freeze for at least two hours before serving. It should last several weeks or months.

This general process will work for any ice cream recipe you can imagine. Keep in mind that you need more eggs for creaminess when you're using skim milk than if you use heavy cream or even whole milk. If you use heavy cream, you might be able to cut down to three or four egg yolks.

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