Friday, October 30, 2009

Creamy Pumpkin Ice Cream

Back a few Autumns ago, when I was barely pregnant with my daughter, I fell in love with pumpkin ice cream. We would make parfaits layering pumpkin ice cream, graham cracker crumbs, and whipped cream. It was delicious....But pumpkin ice cream was a little tricky to find in our little college town. Well, one day, after a long shortage, I found a freshly stocked freezer shelf, full of this yummy treat. I STOCKED up. I kept thinking, "This way, we'll be able to enjoy pumpkin ice cream all year round!" Big mistake.

Being pregnant did crazy things to my food likes and dislikes, and after a week of eating a dish of pumpkin ice cream each night, the thought repulsed me! I couldn't even stand to look at it anymore. Unfortunately, we still had a freezer full of the wretched stuff. My poor husband ate pumpkin ice cream 'till he was blue in the face. Every once in a while, I would brace myself and throw away a half-eaten carton in order to free up some precious freezer space. But times were tight, so I saved as much as I could. It was all a waste anyway, because in July of that year when we moved across the country, I tossed at least 2 more half-gallons before saying goodbye to our little apartment!

The moral of the story? DON'T overdose on this stuff. It's great in moderation. And this recipe REALLY is SO SO much better than the store-bought stuff. It's rich, it's creamy, and it's not too pumpkin-y. If you even remotely like the flavor of pumpkin, you'll love this. Plus, it's super quick and easy to make! No cooking required!

Creamy Pumpkin Ice Cream
Adapted from: Our Best Bites

2 c. heavy cream
1 c. whole milk
1 c. canned pumpkin
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 t nutmeg

Make sure all liquid ingredients are very cold. Place brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine. (Doing this helps the spices to distribute better in the mixture). Add cream, milk, pumpkin, and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved. (How do you know if the brown sugar is dissolved? Stick your finger in there and then taste it! You shouldn't be able to feel any of the granules.)

If you have time, chill the mixture for a few hours in the fridge or about 20 minutes in the freezer before putting it in your ice cream maker.

Process according to the manufacturers instructions (It takes about 20 minutes of churning in my ice cream maker). When finished, transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer to firm up before scooping.

If desired, serve with a ginger cookie and a drizzle of buttermilk syrup or butterscotch caramel.

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