Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Having attempted a recipe for ice cream that didn't need an ice cream maker, I realized I needed an ice cream maker. As much as I love ice cream, I couldn't bear the idea of buying a piece of equipment that would hog a decent footprint in the kitchen without being used on a daily basis. Borrowing one confirmed that I made the right decision.

I've already mentioned the Rock Salt Hunt and having conquered that task, it's time to begin. I did my best to follow this recipe exactly but since I didn't know exactly how to determine when the ice cream was done churning, I didn't know when to add the bourbon. My ice cream wound up bourbonless.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
adapted from Williams Sonoma

1 c drained, fresh pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c heavy cream
3/4 c firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.

This was done before I left for work.

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups of the cream and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.

Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth.

Pour the egg mixture back into the pan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4 to 6 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil.

Without a wooden spoon, I cooked the custard for 6 minutes and called it good.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water, stirring occasionally until cool.

The first picture looks gross, but let me explain. I used the large custard bowl, the one that I beat the eggs in as the ice bath. Nope, I didn't bother washing it before throwing in some ice water. A clean bowl went inside and the custard was strained into the clean bowl. The custard, chunk-free, was stirred and chilled for 45 minutes.

Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the custard.

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.

I opted to transfer the custard to a clean bowl so there would be no chance of skin forming on any edges. Skin is gross.

Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

This was about 24 hours later.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Following the Rival Ice Cream Maker directions, I froze the aluminum canister overnight before transferring the custard to it. This maker model can make up to 6 quarts of ice cream, so the quantity of custard seems minuscule. The dasher and lid was attached, the canister assembly placed inside the ice cream maker tub-thing, the motor attached, ice and rock salt layered to surround the canister, and the motor plugged in (and thus, on) for about 45 minutes.

Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container.

This is a sour cream container I'd washed for recycling. The size was perfect.

Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.

This seemed MUCH more complicated when I was reading the recipe than it turned out to be. It was very simple preparing the custard and let me tell you what, the custard is divine! If I hadn't told anyone I was making this to bring to work, I'd stick a straw in it and go to TOWN.

Using a borrowed ice cream maker, I wasn't too confident how that part would turn out. I've never used on before and honestly, never thought I would. My inner 12-year-old was prancing around the kitchen, so excited! That said, I won't be doing this again. This process, while not exceptionally difficult, takes a couple of days (though only about 3.5 hours of not-hard work) and too much space. And the friggin' machine is LOUD. It was the most annoying 45 minutes I've experienced in quite some time; the cats were not quite petrified. I considered moving the machine to the garage.

If the results were spectacular, I might be whistling a different tune. As it is, the ice cream was okay. I think part of it might be my inexperience with the ice cream maker (I didn't allow it to run until it stopped due to super thick ice cream), maybe it really needed the bourbon I skipped, and maybe I (and my coworkers) are not super huge fans of pumpkin ice cream.

  • vanilla extract: $0.08
  • heavy cream: $1.95
  • dark brown sugar: $0.39
  • egg yolks: $1.52
Total: $3.94 for about a quart.