A couple months ago I got a request on instagram to make some pumpkin ice cream after I’d posted a picture of Trader Joe’s seasonal frozen pumpkin delight (one of the many pumpkin-flavored seasonal items they carry in the fall, I always look forward to looking at their wall o’ pumpkin that comes around each October. Pumpkin chai latte mix? I’M SO THERE.) I kept the pumpkin ice cream pretty basic with equal parts cream, milk, and pumpkin, some brown sugar and honey for sweeteners, eggs yolks, and some tasty seasonal spices. But I decided to incorporate a little swirl of boozy holiday flavor to compliment the pumpkin.
For this I turned to a gingersnap-flavored liquor, one that tastes just as good in sweets as it does in cocktails (Jeremy likes mixing it with a bit of whiskey for a tasty seasonal beverage), called Snap. I reduced it with honey and a bit of sugar until it was fairly syrupy, then refrigerated it until it was time to churn the swirl into the ice cream, by which time the syrup had thickened considerably from its stint in the refrigerator and resembled molasses in its consistancy. I churned it in when the ice cream was almost done churning, just long enough to get the swirl mixed in but not so long that the syrup actually blended into the ice cream.
The result was a creamy, rich, and comforting frozen dessert that tastes just like pumpkin pie, but with gingersnap cookies instead of a crust. And if you really want to go all the way with the gingersnap flavor, you could do the gingersnap swirl and break up some gingersnap cookies and incorporate them in the last churn as well. Now, I know most of the country is freezing right now (literally), but trust me when I say that pumping up the heater and making a bowl of this little guy is totally worth the brief spike in your electric bill.
And on a personal note, Jeremy and I just got our very first dog. She’s a beagle/chihuahua mix and her name is Sequoia. I’m a first-time dog owner, so any advice would be much appreciated since we got her from the shelter and we’re going to have to do a lot of training with her. Also, any tips on maintaining a joint dog & cat household would be amazingly helpful, too, since we have Gabel our big orange tabby. Thank you in advance for any advice you have to offer!
Pumpkin Ice Cream
Gingersnap Honey Swirl
First, prepare the ice cream. Heat the milk, cream, cream cheese, sugar, and honey in a small, thick-bottomed pot over low heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is hot, but not boiling, remove it pot from heat and slowly whisk half the cream mixture into the egg yolks in a large bowl until smooth, adding the cream in a small, steady stream. Then add the egg yolk mixture back into the cream mixture in the pot and whisk until combined.
Place the pot back over the stovetop over the low heat. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and the spices and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before covering and placing in the refrigerator to cool overnight, or for at least 5 hours.
Now you can prepare the swirl. Mix together all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until it becomes a very thick syrup.
Once the ice cream mixture has chilled long enough, prepare the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s directions on your ice cream maker. Allow the ice cream to churn until it appears thick and taffy-like (I have the cuisinart ice cream machine and it usually takes about 20 minutes of churning to get to this point). Add the thick syrup, trying to add it in streams rather than thick blobs, if possible. Give it about 10-20 seconds to churn the ribbons of thick syrup in and then shut the machine off. Scoop the mixture into an air-tight and freezer-safe container and immediately seal it and place it in the freezer. Allow to freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.