Did you see my list of 10 Pumpkin Ice Creams to try last week? If you haven’t checked it out, it is a great list and perfect for any pumpkin lover. Some of my recipes are included in the list as well as recipes from some great food bloggers. Check it out.
Before I get to my recipe for today, please humor me while I go on a food tangent. The cool air of Fall has started to blow in, and as a result I have been craving soup. Soup is a hearty and wonderful way to warm up and use up the last of the tomatoes, eggplants and peppers in the garden. Kale soup is next on my to-do list after picking up a bunch at the farmers market. Chicken noodle soup is always a must have in the Fall and Winter as well. Last night, I started some chicken stock in the crock pot (destined for chicken noodle soup) and let it do its magic overnight. Something strange happened. My brain appeared confused, as I woke throughout the night smelling delicious food and suddenly I was wide awake and ready to eat. Apparently my brain cannot turn off when the smell of food is in the air. Am I just weird or has this happened to any of you? Although strange, I do not plan to stop using my crock pot overnight; maybe I need to keep snacks by my bedside table.
Enough with my weird brain. Continuing with the pumpkin theme from last week, I have created my first pumpkin ice cream of the season! Surprisingly, I have never made a “plain” pumpkin ice cream. Usually I add other ingredients like beer or coffee or cheesecake swirl. This recipe for pumpkin spice ice cream is about as close to plain as its gonna get. I made my own pumpkin pie spice to add some extra flavor to this scoop and threw in some cacao nibs for a slightly bitter crunch. I love it! Enjoy.
Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream with Cacao Nibs
Makes 1 generous quart
The pumpkin puree is roasted to remove moisture and slightly caramelize. If you want a great tasting ice cream with good texture, do not skip this step. Golden syrup is used in this recipe for its lovely butterscotch flavor. If you cannot find it, good quality honey is an acceptable substitute.
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup golden syrup (or honey)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
2/3 cups light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup cacao nibs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread pumpkin puree in an even layer on a parchment-lined quarter sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. Scoop into a medium bowl, add golden syrup and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. Set aside.
Combine the remaining milk with heavy cream, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice in a large saucepan. Bring milk mixture to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (draw a line on a spoon), about 1 minute. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into a medium bowl with pumpkin mixture. Whisk to combine. Set the bowl in the ice water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes. Chill overnight.
Once chilled, pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Near end of churning (about 5 minutes remaining), slowly add cacao nibs to churning ice cream. Complete churning and pack the ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.