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  • Writer's pictureClare

Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream (Pumpkin SpIce Cream?)

I'm not a PSL lady but I am a pumpkin foam cold brew lady and a Culver's salted caramel pumpkin concrete mixer lady. Here is my ode to all things pumpkin spice in the form of ice cream.

This recipe is an adaptation that blends the vanilla bean ice cream recipe that came with my ice cream maker, tips I got from the pastry chef at Demi, and Serious Eats' pumpkin ice cream recipe.

NOTE: You have to start this recipe the day before you want to eat the ice cream. My suggestion is to make the custard in the afternoon/evening the day before you want to serve the ice cream and put it in the ice cream machine the following morning. It will be ready to serve that afternoon or evening. For example, if you want to serve the ice cream for dessert on a Saturday, make the custard Friday around dinner time, chill it overnight, spin it Saturday morning, and let it set until you serve it Saturday evening.


2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1 vanilla bean

3/4 cup brown sugar

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup pumpkin puree (this should just be pumpkin with no seasoning - don't use pre-seasoned pumpkin pie filling)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cardamom

Splash of Sortilege maple whiskey

Salt to taste

Here's how to make Pumpkin SpIce Cream:

1) Add 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk to a heavy-bottomed saucepan (such as Le Creuset). Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the paste inside into the milk and cream. Put the whole vanilla bean pod into the pan as well.

2) Heat the milk and cream. Once it begins to steam (just before boiling bubbles appear), turn off the heat and cover. Allow the vanilla bean to steep in the milk for about an hour.

3) Whisk 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup glucose powder, 6 egg yolks, and 3/4 cup pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Season with 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp cardamom. (Don't add salt yet - it comes later!)

4) When the milk and cream are done steeping with the vanilla bean, remove the bean pod from the liquid. Add the pumpkin mixture to the saucepan with the milk and cream. Whisk well to combine.

5) Cook the mixture on medium-low heat, stirring absolutely constantly, until it becomes custard. Do not mess around with this one or you'll get scrambled eggs. Cook the mixture slowly until it reaches 160 degrees F and thickens slightly. You'll know it' s done when it coats the back of a spoon smoothly. It won't be very thick at this point, but it will be slightly thicker than it was when you started.

6) Transfer the custard to a container with a lid. Stir in a splash of Sortilege whiskey and salt to taste. Add any more spices if you want. (When you are tasting it, remember that when it's colder the flavors will weaken, so you want a tiny bit more salt and spice than you think.) Let it cool to room temperature uncovered. Once it reaches room temperature, cover it and chill it in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

7) After 12 hours, remove the custard from the fridge and add it to your ice cream machine. Spin the custard according to the machine's directions. It is ready to remove when it forms stiff peaks. It should be a little bit stiffer than soft serve ice cream.

8) Transfer the ice cream to an airtight tupperware. Let it set in the freezer for at least two hours (closer to six hours is a better bet).

9) Serve and enjoy! It's quite nice with a little whipped cream on top and/or a drizzle of caramel. To truly encapsulate pumpkin pie vibes, bake pie crust cookies (pie dough rolled flat and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar) to have on the side.

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