Thursday, November 04, 2010


Aw yeah.

Now, I’m not one of those people who goes gaga for pumpkin-flavored things every October. In fact, this was the first time in my life I’d ever bought canned pumpkin. I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte and I don’t care for pumpkin pie. No doubt this is a relic of my squash-hating childhood, which I’m gradually growing out of. Sure, I appreciate the moisture that pumpkin lends to baked goods, but it still mostly seems like an excuse to foist a lot of spice-flavored desserts on me, and I have a limited tolerance for coffee cake and ginger snaps when chocolate or fruity or caramel/nut/butterscotch/vanilla (what would you call that category?) sweets are available. But a few years ago someone did turn me on to the Double Rainbow pumpkin ice cream Trader Joe’s carries every fall (or used to—I didn’t spot it this year), and A and I made short work of a pint. So now that I have my own ice cream maker and the sky’s the limit for flavors, it seemed natural to try to re-create that seasonal treat. For once, David Lebovitz’s A Perfect Scoop left me high and dry, and most of the pumpkin ice cream recipes I found online contained eggs, which we all know I’m too lazy to fuss with, but at long last I stumbled upon this recipe at Tasty Kitchen. It was one of the easiest ice creams I’ve ever made, rivals strawberry-sour cream for the downright creamiest (thanks to the pumpkin, it was thick and pillowy before I even poured it into the ice cream maker and became even fluffier after processing), and tasted incredibly delicious. It’s definitely going to become an October tradition at our house, and I may even have to make it one more time before Thanksgiving. If I’m not careful, I’m going to become one of those Pumpkin People.

It didn’t seem worth buying pumpkin pie spice for a one-off recipe like this, but luckily, DIY recipes are plentiful online. I went with this one from the Kitchn, but subbed cardamom, which I adore, for mace, which I didn’t have. I divided the recipe in half to achieve the called-for 1 tablespoon (actually, it’s 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon, but close enough), but unfortunately I ran out of cinnamon, had to make a mad dash to the store, and returned so flustered I botched the math and put in twice as much as I was supposed to (1 tablespoon, eek!). The resulting ice cream definitely wasn’t inedible, but it did leave a slight burning sensation on the tongue. I think that’s the first time in my life I’ve experienced what too much cinnamon tastes like, and I don’t recommend it. Luckily, this is such an awesome ice cream that even that couldn’t put a damper on my glee every time I scooped myself a bowl.

1 can pumpkin (15 ounces)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoons salt

*Homemade pumpkin pie spice:
Mix the following together in a small bowl:
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and combined.

2. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour.

3. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Serves: 8
Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling and processing time
Leftover potential: Good.

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