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Pumpkin Ice Cream


  • 1 8-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • a few gratings fresh nutmeg
  • 1 T. bourbon


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the cream, brown sugar and salt. Heat until sugar is dissolved and liquid is hot to the touch. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Slowly ladle small amounts of the hot cream into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. (I place the bowl on a kitchen towel to steady it while I whisk.) When the yolk mixture is tempered, or at about the same temperature as the cream mixture (after 3-4 ladles of cream have been added), pour it into the saucepan. Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until custard thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon, about 3-5 minutes longer. When custard is at the right consistency, immediately strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Stir in reserved pumpkin mixture. Transfer mixture to a storage container, cover with plastic wrap–press the wrap directly on the surface of the custard–and chill for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. When custard is chilled, transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add the bourbon during the last minute of churning. Serve or store in freezer immediately.


Adding the bourbon is important: it allows the ice cream to maintain a soft texture even after several hours spent in the freezer. The taste is virtually undetectable, so if you desire a stronger bourbon flavor, add more than one tablespoon.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Ice Cream
  • Method: Ice Cream Maker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pumpkin, ice, cream, dessert, Thanksgiving