two pumpkin ice creams

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Well, hello. It’s really been a while this time, but I’m going to try to get back into the swing of this thing for real. It’s been just about two years since I last updated this blog, which is really wild. First life just got in the way, in the form of moving and starting new things and not having a reliable, homey, well-stocked kitchen to cook in. Then, after a while, not-blogging just kept on being not-blogging. I can’t promise that I’ll post here particularly regularly, but hopefully I can follow through on making it at least a once-in-a-while thing to start off with. I’ll see where that takes me.

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I can’t recall the exact moment when I decided to venture into the world of homemade ice cream. Throughout my childhood it was family tradition to make strawberry sorbet in the summer, but our ice cream maker sat unused the rest of the year until I intervened. And once you become that one person in your family who makes ice cream, your ice cream quickly becomes a staple of holiday celebrations. Much like any other holiday food, there is a certain tension between wanting to experiment and wanting to stick with what has proven to work before.

I’ve made pumpkin ice cream for several Thanksgivings, following the recipe from my trusty Ben & Jerry’s cookbook, but it always fell flat. It was too heavy on the pumpkin and rather uninteresting (my new theory is that their recipe was designed to be made with a custard, but it didn’t work right as the egg-free ice cream I prefer to make). This year, finally, I came up with new recipes, one vegan and one dairy, for pumpkin ice creams that I am happy with.

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I originally wanted something a little lighter on the pumpkin, more heavily spiced, and sweetened with maple syrup. The first time I tried it out was the vegan version for our Friendsgiving celebration. I used a mixture of coconut milk and coconut cream for texture, and because I couldn’t find unsweetened coconut cream, I had to scrap the maple (it was already plenty sweet!). I also had to increase rather than decrease the pumpkin so that it could stand out against the coconut flavor.

The second time around, for actual Thanksgiving, I used my standard ice cream base of heavy cream and half and half, reduced the pumpkin, increased the spices, and added chocolate chips. You could put chocolate in the vegan version as well, but for the purposes of this post I’m writing the recipes as I made them.

See you soon (I promise)!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

4 oz dark chocolate

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup half and half

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

3/8 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cloves

pinch salt

Melt chocolate, then pour it onto a parchment-covered plate and smooth into a thin layer with a spatula. Freeze until solid. Then, chop the chocolate into pieces and return it to the freezer.

Whisk all ice cream ingredients to combine, then freeze in an ice cream maker. Just before it is done, add the chocolate chunks from the freezer.

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Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Ice Cream

13 oz can coconut milk

15 oz can coconut cream

15 oz can pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

pinch salt

Whisk the coconut milk and cream over low heat until they are warmed and smooth, then whisk in the pumpkin and spices. Chill in the refrigerator, then freeze in an ice cream maker.

(If you are lucky enough to find unsweetened coconut cream, then you can sweeten your ice cream with maple syrup to taste.)

 

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