Pumpkin Ice Cream & How to bake a pie pumpkin

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by Heather Harris Brady

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for lots of reasons, including the fact that there are so many pumpkin flavored desserts! I especially love pumpkin ice cream, and since I can’t live with just having it during the fall I decided to come up with my own recipe.

Pumpkin Ice Cream, Makes about one quart

2 c. half and half

Two eggs

2 t. vanilla

3/4 c. sugar

1 c. pumpkin puree

3 T. pumpkin butter

1 T. fresh ground ginger

2 t. pumpkin pie spice

Spiced pecans (optional)

Since we’ve covered the basics of making custard before I skipped the step by step pics here. Heat the cream and whisk in the sugar. Beat the egg whites in a bowl, stir in 1/2 c. of hot cream and then whisk them in. Cook until slightly thickened and remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and cool completely.

Combine the cooled custard and the pumpkin puree then pour it into the freezer compartment of your ice cream maker.

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When it’s nearly finished, add the remaining ingredients.

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Spoon it into a container and put it in the deep freeze for 20-30 minutes so it can ripen before serving. If you want to try making it ahead for a dinner, add a good size splash of brandy (1/3 – 1/2 cup) and that will help keep it on the softer side. But like all homemade ice cream it will get hard so it’s best to eat it ASAP.

Pumpkin Baking Basics

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Although I usually just opt for the canned puree, I found an heirloom pie pumpkin at my local grocery so I wanted to give it a try. The hardest part is getting it open. It is the absolute hardest thing I’ve had in my kitchen. Make sure you have it on a towel to keep it from sliding around. Then find a way to make a cut on the side, I actually worked at it with a butter knife then I forced in a carving knife. The larger knife cracked it so I just enlarged the crack all the way around. Now, since you’re feeling optimistic, preheat the oven to 350.

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Then I pulled out all the seeds, and finally cleaned out all the center pulp with a spoon before turning it upside down on a baking sheet. Bake it for about an hour. As you will see, the outer shell will stay hard (this is the part that was so hard to cut through) but the meat will be tender.

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It was really delicious, the essence of pumpkin. It might have been my imagination but it even smelled a little spicy. The baked pumpkin will keep for a week in the refrigerator. Mash or puree to use in a recipe.
One year ago: Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

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