Leave it to me to make ice cream in this nose-drippingly cold weather (my computer is telling me that it is 1 degree Celsius outside right now) .
This ice cream is crazy easy to prepare. You can make it for your Thanksgiving guests. You could be like me and eat it on a random Monday night. There are only 3 main ingredients–coconut milk, pumpkin, brown sugar–and a few spices. The best part is that almost everyone can enjoy it! Vegans, lactose and gluten intolerant folks, Kosher keepers…
There is a buzz about coconut milk used in vegan ice cream bases–and for a good reason. Coconut milk provides fat that helps maintain the creamy texture of the ice cream. You cannot taste the coconut unless you really look for it. If anything, the coconut brings out the flavor of the pumpkin and spices.
Let’s talk toppings…
To really spice things up, why not make ice cream sandwiches? Molasses cookies, gingersnaps, graham crackers, shortbread…Or have everything in one! Break apart some cookies and mix them into the already churned ice cream a la Shutterbean. Toasted chopped nuts and crystallized ginger could also make for a crunchy topping. Or maybe a warm chocolate fudge or salty caramel sauce. Slurp.
Put on a warm coat. Eat ice cream. Repeat.
Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream (Vegan)
recipe adapted from The Year In Food
makes about 3/4 of a quart of ice cream
**Optional: To help keep the ice cream from being rock hard after sitting in the freezer, you may want to add a tablespoon or two of alcohol to the base. This keeps the texture nice and smooth. I would recommend a bourbon.
1 15-oz can coconut milk
1 level cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
First, make sure to freeze your ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours.
In a medium pot over the low heat, combine the coconut milk and pumpkin puree with the brown sugar and spices. Stir just until the sugar has dissolved and the spices are thoroughly incorporated.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for about 2.5 hours. Stir once an hour if you can.
Remove the custard from the fridge.
Have your ice cream machine ready. Take the freezer bowl out last. Pour the custard into the ice cream bowl, and churn until the consistency of a soft serve ice cream, about ten minutes. It doesn’t need very much time at all!
You can serve it this way, or let it firm up a little more in the freezer. It will get rock hard if left in for too long, probably because of the water content in the pumpkin puree. Just let it sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes or so before eating so it softens.