Ice Creams and Sorbets

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Pumpkin Ice Cream

It’s been a little while since I made ice cream, but since the weather warmed up a little in Southern California the past week, I thought a cold dessert would be a welcomed treat. I decided to make Pumpkin Ice Cream not only because it’s autumn, but also because I wanted to see how many desserts this could be paired with. I know that Pumpkin Ice Cream goes well with Ginger Cake, and I just learned it goes well with a Pear-Cranberry Roll-Up Tart. I’d bet this would also go great with an apple pie or a Pumpkin Spice Latte, too.

The first step for this ice cream is to whisk vanilla extract into the pumpkin puree and let that mixture rest for a few hours. The ingredients below are for the custard that need to get cooked before adding the pumpkin mixture.P1120882

There are 2 parts to this custard: 1) the milk/sugar mixture that gets heated to a boil; and 2) the egg/milk mixture that will get tempered.P1120883

The boiling/tempering process happens pretty quickly, but it involves slowly incorporating the boiling mixture to the egg mixture, while constantly mixing the egg mixture. When the egg mixture is tempered, pour all the liquid back into the pot and cook until the custard thickens a little. P1120888

Strain the custard to ensure that there aren’t any cooked eggs or other bits in there.

Place the bowl the hot mixture is in into a larger bowl with ice water to cool faster.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
Pumpkin Custard

This is where the chilled pumpkin/vanilla mixture is added to the cooling custard.


Whisk the custard until it’s nice and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, ensuring that the plastic makes contact with the mixture so a skin doesn’t form, and refrigerate the custard for at least 3 or 4 hours.P1120906

When the pumpkin custard is chilled, pop it into your ice cream maker and wait for it transform into Pumpkin Ice Cream!P1120909

Pumpkin Ice Cream

The only way I can describe the taste of this ice cream is as frozen pumpkin pie, but without the crust. It’s pretty ridiculous how good this is. Now that I think about it, this would make a great filling for a pie. Perhaps just bake a graham cracker crust and spread a blob of this Pumpkin Ice Cream over it. Yes, I think I’ll try that!

Pumpkin Ice Cream
Pumpkin Ice Cream
Pumpkin Ice Cream
Pumpkin Ice Cream



  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree or canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.
  2. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups of the cream and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.
  4. Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4 to 6 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
  5. Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water, stirring occasionally until cool. Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the custard. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  6. Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. Makes about 1 quart.

Recipe modified from William-Sonoma.

One thought on “Pumpkin Ice Cream

  1. Ridiculous good sounds like a good review. I am going to have to make this one. I was just talking with my family about making candy cane ice cream which I make every year but this pumpkin pie ice cream sounds like it needs to be made too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.