After a week’s worth of 70- to 80-degree October days, I’ve finally settled on the perfect solution for this unseasonal weather.
It’s this: Pumpkin Ice Cream.
With bourbon, naturally.
There is something deeply odd about wearing flip flips for a stroll through the crunchy leaves that are quickly lining Bucktown’s sidewalks. Likewise, I’m having a hard time reaching for my sundresses over my sweaters. And all I want to eat is the produce that peaked a while ago, leaving brussels and gourds in its wake.
But pumpkin ice cream? Now that is profoundly right. It tastes of cinnamon and wears an autumn shade of orange, but it’s cool and it’s clean, making it just right for the past few days.
Pumpkin Ice Cream with Bourbon
Adapted from The Craft of Baking
Yield: About 1 quart
5 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out, bean/seeds reserved
1 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
1/4 cup bourbon
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow.
In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk, cream, brown sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, ginger, ground cinnamon and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a full boil, and then, as soon as it begins to rise up the sides of the pan, remove the pan from the heat.
Pour about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture in a slow and steady stream and whisk to combine. Return the egg yolk mixture to the remaining milk mixture. Whisk in the nutmeg and salt. Cook over low heat, constantly whisking, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour the thickened mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and bourbon. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
Churn the custard in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s directions.
Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container, and freeze until firm (about 2 hours).