Pumpkin Ice Cream

Cut a small pumpkin into large chunks and remove the strings and seeds. Steam the pumpkin on a steaming rack in a large pot over boiling water for about half an hour until the pulp is soft. Let the pumpkin cool slightly and scrape the pulp from the skin. Blend the pulp with a hand-mixer, blender, or processor until smooth, then set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 drops of lemon extract
  • a splash of Amaretto, or aged Port

In a double boiler heat 1 & 1/4 cups of heavy cream. Gradually pour 1/4 cup of the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Now whisk the egg/cream mixture back into the remaining hot cream atop the double boiler.

Double boil the cream for a few minutes, whisking constantly, while occasionally scraping the sides of the pot with a heat-resistant spatula. Whisking adds air to the mixture and using the spatula helps remove the thickening mixture from the sides of the pot where the heat is highest.

Just keep on whisking until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula. To keep yourself entertained as you whisk you might consider adding a tiny pinch of ground cloves in order to help pass the time.

When the custard seems thick enough, pour it through a sieve set over a clean bowl. Now add 2/3 cup of pureed cooked pumpkin, (organic canned pumpkin is also fine) plus either a scraped vanilla pod or two teaspoons of vanilla extract), and a quarter-cup of very cold  cream. 

Whisk this mixture together well and refrigerate for an hour or two. Transfer the pumpkin custard to an ice-cream maker and follow the directions. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker you can use a thick pre-frozen metal bowl that should really be sitting in your freezer at this very moment just waiting for your next ice cream inspiration. By simply fork-whisking the custard mixture as it sits in the metal bowl in the freezer every ten minutes or so for just about an hour you’ll have yourself a nice pumpkin semifreddo.