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Pumpkin Ice Cream

This pumpkin ice cream recipe is so simple and foolproof, all you need to worry about is how to have sufficient self-restraint so as not to demolish the entire batch before guests arrive. Or before fall even arrives. An inspired and gluten-free alternative to pumpkin pie.

A metal container filled with pumpkin ice cream and a metal ice cream scoop resting inside.

Yes, pumpkin ice cream. Even though the pumpkin spice everything craze has left some of us less than enthusiastic about pumpkin spice anything, this pumpkin ice cream recipe has swayed us. It’s spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and sweetened with molasses and brown sugar. Perfectly so, we might add. It’s gluten-free, natch, so it’s a holiday dessert that everyone can belly up to at the table. And it’s so darn lovely, it may make you forget all about the pie.–Renee Schettler

Pumpkin Ice Cream

A metal container filled with pumpkin ice cream and a metal ice cream scoop resting inside.

This pumpkin ice cream recipe is so simple and foolproof, all you need to worry about is how to have sufficient self-restraint so as not to demolish the entire batch before guests arrive. Or before fall even arrives. An inspired and gluten-free alternative to pumpkin pie.

Editors of Williams-Sonoma

Prep 30 mins

Cook 10 mins

Total 4 hrs 30 mins

Dessert

American

8 servings

337 kcal

5 from 1 vote

  • In a saucepan off the heat, combine 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces/375 milliliters) cream, brown sugar, and molasses and stir to blend.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and the remaining 1/2 cup (4 ounces/125 milliliters) of cream until well blended.

  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, just until bubbles form around the edges and the sugar dissolves, 4 to 5 minutes. Don’t allow the mixture to come to a boil.

  • Immediately remove from the heat and, whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. When almost all of the hot liquid has been incorporated, slowly pour the warmed yolk mixture back into the saucepan, still whisking constantly. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard [Editor’s Note: Congratulations! You just made a custard!] is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Pour the hot custard through a strainer into a clean bowl, gently pressing the liquid through the sieve with the back of the spoon. Stir the pumpkin purée and vanilla into the custard just until blended.
  • Place the bowl with the custard into a larger bowl filled halfway with ice water and let cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

  • Prepare an ice cream maker with at least a 1 quart (1 liter) capacity according to the manufacturer’s directions. Pour the custard into the ice cream maker and churn until the custard reaches the consistency of thick whipped cream. Transfer to a plastic freezer container, cover tightly, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

*How do I soften brown sugar?

Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added, which adds a caramel flavor and a little bit of chewiness to baking. But, unlike white sugar, it starts to dry out as soon as you open up that sealed bag. It has quite a bit more moisture than white sugar so you notice the dryness that much more quickly, especially once it hits that rock-hard state.
So what to do? First, store it properly so that it doesn’t get too dried out in the first place. A plastic zippered bag with all the air squeezed out works really well for this. For extra protection, popping a slice of white bread or a big squishy marshmallow in there will help, too.
If you missed that storage step and now have a sweet brown rock, you’re still ok. Put some sugar into a glass bowl and top it with a folded square of damp paper towel, pop it into the microwave, and heat it once or twice in increments of 20 seconds. You can also just add a fresh slice of bread, a couple of apple slices, or a sugar bear to your bag of sugar if you’re not in a hurry to get baking.

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 337kcal (17%)Carbohydrates: 27g (9%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 25g (38%)Saturated Fat: 15g (94%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 197mg (66%)Sodium: 36mg (2%)Potassium: 220mg (6%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 23g (26%)Vitamin A: 5795IU (116%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 87mg (9%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published November 23, 2015

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