Pumpkin Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart (1L)
Inspired by The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco If using canned pumpkin, make sure to find one that’s 100% pumpkin. Often you’ll find cans of Pumpkin Pie Filling, which usually has spices and sweetener already added. Press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer before freezing, as directed. Pumpkin can be slightly grainy and straining the custard is a good idea to help smooth it out.
1 1/2 cups (375ml) whole milk
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (95g) granulated sugar
big pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (180g) fresh or canned 100% pure pumpkin puree (see directions in post to make your own)
1/4 cup packed (60g) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground dried ginger
a few turns of ground black pepper
optional: 2 teaspoons whiskey or brandy
1. Make an ice bath by putting some ice and a little water in a large bowl and nest a medium-sized metal bowl (one that will hold at least 2 quarts, 2l) inside it. Set a mesh strainer over the top. Pour the cream into the smaller bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, granulated sugar, and salt. Whisk together the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
3. Whisk about half of the warm milk into the yolks, stirring constantly.
5. Scrape the warmed yolks back in to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read between 160º-170ºF (71º-76ºC).
6. Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the heavy cream, in the bowl nested in the ice bath. Stir for a few minutes until it’s cool, then puree the custard in a blender with the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, and whiskey or brandy, if using. (Wipe the bottom of the bowl dry before pouring as you don’t wan to get any water into the custard mixture.) Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.
7. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Variations: Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups (250 – 320 g) white or milk chocolate chips, crushed caramel, chopped up Skor or Daim (toffee) bars, or chopped toasted pecans or walnuts. A bit of chopped candied ginger would be nice, too. Leftover bits of crumbled gingersnaps or gingerbread, or even toasted bits of brown bread or gingerbread could also be folded in, or crumbled on top for serving.