Monday, December 9, 2013

Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream

If you ask me, even in the dead of winter, there are few desserts more satisfying than a bowl of cold, utterly creamy, rich-in-flavor homemade ice cream.  We've had a bit of freezing rain and snow here in Lexington but that didn't stop me from utilizing some leftover cream and pumpkin from Thanksgiving to make a seriously divine batch of Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream.

If you're a fan of pumpkin, this ice cream is tops.  It now rivals Toasted Marshmallow as my all-time favorite ice cream.  An unbelievably smooth and creamy pumpkin ice cream base is speckled with generous chunks of gingersnap cookies.  As the ice cream chills, the gingersnaps soften and meld with the silky ice cream.  The result is nothing shy of an explosion of flavor and gorgeous texture.

This is some of the creamiest, smoothest, silkiest ice cream you'll ever make.  I'm assuming it's the addition of corn syrup that can be thanked for the uniquely sublime texture (homemade ice cream is somewhat notorious for lacking in the creamy texture department).  You can certainly leave the gingersnaps out if you don't have any on hand, but I definitely recommend them as they add great flavor, texture, and presentation.  Though, if you wanted to leave them out and instead sandwich the ice cream between two homemade Ginger Spice Cookies, I wouldn't blame you.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream
adapted from Ezra Pound Cake
yields 1 quart+

2 cups heavy cream, divided
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 oz. gingersnap cookies, broken into large pieces (I used Willa's Shortbread Gingersnaps)

Warm 1 1/3 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until warm (but not bubbling).

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, corn syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl.

When the cream is hot, gradually pour it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then transfer back into the saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, or until it reaches 165-170°F.

Whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup cream, pumpkin, and vanilla.  Pour the custard through a sieve into a clean bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions.  Once ice cream is thick, turn off the machine and mix in the gingersnaps by hand, then transfer to a container and freeze at least 2 hours before serving.

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