This subtly spiced pumpkin or winter squash ice cream packed between gingersnaps is the perfect fall treat to follow a savory meal, or a brisk afternoon raking leaves. I include my own recipe for homemade gingersnaps, but you could go with store bought cookies to save time. The smooth, creamy, pale orange ice cream is also wonderful on its own by the scoop, and can be embellished with chocolate chips, nuts, hot fudge or caramel sauce.
A few notes to ensure a great ice cream:
- Use either the small “sugar pumpkins” or any kind of winter squash (except spaghetti squash). Butternut, hubbard, kabocha, and red kuri squash all have sweet, nutty flesh and work wonderfully in this ice cream. I often use squash because I grow a lot of it.
- It’s better to roast, steam, or microwave the pumpkin or squash rather than boil it. Boiling adds too much water to the flesh or, if you strain the water out well, it leaches out some of the flavor.
- Pumpkin/squash lovers might be tempted to add more of it, thinking that if a little is good, a lot must be better. It’s not. Been there, done that. Too much fruit adds too much water, making the ice cream too icy, and it overpowers the ice cream part of the ice cream. I would not use more than 3/4 cup of cooked, pureed pumpkin or squash.
- Feel free to play with the spices, but don’t over do it. For the ice cream sandwiches, I use very small amounts of 4 different spices, because I think subtle and complex work better with the spicy gingersnaps. But I increase one or two of the spices when I serve the ice cream on its own.
Pumpkin (or winter squash) ice cream
Makes about 1 quart
- 3 large, whole eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup low fat milk
- 1/4 cup tapioca or corn syrup
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2/3 cup pureed, cooked (roasted, steamed, or microwaved), sugar pumpkin or winter squash (peeled and seeded). Keep it refrigerated until ready to use.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs to thoroughly to blend yolks and whites. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk sugar, salt, and spices until well blended and free of lumps. Set aside.
- Add cream, milk, and tapioca (or corn) syrup to a 4 qt saucepan, and heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. When it reaches a simmer, add the sugar/spice mix, whisk until dissolved, and remove from heat.
- Temper the eggs by drizzling about 1 and 1/2 cups of the hot cream/milk mixture into the eggs, while constantly whisking the eggs. Take your time: if you go too quickly, you can scramble the eggs.
- Carefully pour the egg/cream mixture back into the 4 qt saucepan with the rest of the hot cream/milk mixture, while whisking the contents of the saucepan.
- Cook, stirring constantly (preferably with a heat proof spatula, but a spoon will do), over medium-low heat, until it thickens and reaches a temperature of about 170 degrees F. It should take about 7-13 minutes to thicken and reach 170. Be sure to scrape all portions of the bottom of the pot while stirring. Mixture should be noticeably thicker than the cold cream/milk mixture was at the start.
- Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl.
- Refrigerate immediately, or precool in a cold water bath for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally during the first half hour of cooling.
- Cool thoroughly, at least 4 hours in refrigerator, or overnight, but not more than 24 hours.
- Just before churning in ice cream maker, add a small amount of the ice cream base to the cold pumpkin or squash, and blend well. Add the pumpkin/base mix back into the bowl with the rest of the ice cream base, and blend thoroughly.
- Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Transfer to a 1 quart freezer storage container, and freeze for at least an hour before making ice cream sandwiches.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar for rolling dough
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and spices until well blended.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and molasses until well blended.
- Add the egg to the butter/sugar mixture, and beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir flour mixture into butter/egg mixture, and beat until well blended.
- roll dough into 1 and 1/4 inch balls, roll in white sugar, and place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 9-10 minutes.
- Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
Assemble the pumpkin ice cream sandwiches
- If the ice cream has been in the freezer for more than a couple of hours, you might need to allow it to soften until it is easy to scoop into soft balls.
- When ice cream is soft enough to scoop easily, place a full, round, scoop onto a gingersnap, flatten until ice cream reaches the edges of the cookie, and cover with another cookie.
- Wrap individually with foil, wax paper, or plastic wrap, and freeze for at least an hour to harden the ice cream, so the ice cream won’t squirt out when you bite the sandwich.
Shared on: Backyard Farming Connection Hop, Homestead Barn Hop, Show and Share Wednesday #62, Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits #73, Showcase Your Talent Thursday #86, Tuesdays with a Twist #33, Sweet Wednesday Link Party #12, Weekend re-Treat #44, BFF Open House link party