The Moose is unable to have dairy, so I periodically make ice cream for him using coconut and almond milks. You could subsitute cream and milk for the non-dairy milks in this recipe… but I’d suggest using Lebovitz’s stove-top directions. You might just make butter if you use the Vitamix. I haven’t tested this…
At first, I was hesitant to make pumpkin ice cream since it calls for first making an egg yolk custard. Inspiration hit when I was discussing the joys of owning a Vitamix with Mrs. M, who came over and helped me organize the pantry just off the kitchen. The Vitamix spins so fast that you can cook soup in it. Why not custard?
So I decided to give it a whirl. (Pun intended)
First, I added the coconut milk and almond milk, the white sugar, plus all the spices and the salt. I blended them on high until they reached 140°. Since the purpose of getting the milk/cream hot is to infuse the spices, and I was blending them all together, I figured this would be close enough. If I really wanted to make the spice flavors pop, I’d fry them in a little coconut oil on the stove for 30 seconds. I’m lazy; what can I say?
After the milk mixture was steaming, I took the center out of the lid while the blender was running on low and poured the egg yolks in, one at a time. I also added the brown sugar. Then I replaced the lid piece and cranked the whole thing back up on high. It took about 8 minutes or so to reach 170°, the upper end of the range that Lebovitz recommends for making sure the yolks are cooked.
It was at this point that I realized that I didn’t have room in the blender for the pumpkin. Lebovitz’s recipe is for a one-quart machine. Mine’s a 2-quart, and I had a double-batch worth of pumpkin and egg yolks. (Mr. Caffeinated’s been doing angel food cake experiments again.) I doubled everything except the sugar, and it was plenty sweet.
I recruited help in pouring two of the seven cups of custard through a strainer (to catch any cooked egg white) and added the pumpkin, vanilla and rum to the blender. Once this was fully combined, Mr. Caffeinated poured the contents through a strainer and combined it with the first two cups of custard.
The whole batch went in the fridge overnight.
We put it through the ice cream maker today. When it reached the consistency of soft serve, it went into the freezer to continue hardening.
The kids were all outside playing when we decided to do a taste test. I don’t know about anyone else’s children, but mine are equipped with some sort of über-sensitive special detection equipment that tells them when we’re about to eat something containing sugar, so of course they all came plowing in the door just as we sat down to take a taste.
I tried to convince them that Pumpkin Ice Cream is an adult flavor. Kids couldn’t like it. It contains (a) no chocolate, and (b) pumpkin, which is a vegetable.
They didn’t buy it.
Good thing we made a double batch…
Pumpkin Ice Cream
Makes about 2 quarts
Inspired by David Lebovitz’s recipe, adapted from The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco & Mindy Fox
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 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk (I use Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk. The brand makes a BIG difference! Chakoah coconut milk makes great Thai food, but lousy sweets.)
6 ½ oz. almond milk (you could use more coconut milk; I just didn’t want to open another can)
½ c. sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 large egg yolks
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier, rum or brandy (keeps it from freezing into a solid rock)
2 cups pumpkin puree
- Pour milks, sugar, spices and salt into Vitamix. Blend on high until it gets hot; no hotter than 170°. (I stopped at 140°. Check temp with a cooking thermometer; I used my Thermapen.)
- Turn blender to medium/low, and remove center from lid.
- Pour egg yolks through the lid while blender is still going. Add brown sugar as well.
- Replace lid cap, and crank it up to the highest speed. Take temperature periodically till mixture reaches 160 – 170°.
- Pour a couple of cups of custard through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl.
- Add pumpkin, vanilla and liquor (if using) to the rest of the custard still in the blender.
- Blend just enough to combine thoroughly.
- Pour through sieve into the mixing bowl with the rest of the custard. Stir briefly to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or until completely chilled.
- Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Lock the kids out of the house before sampling. Label container “Pumpkin Tofu” or something similar if you want to have more than just one serving for yourself.