Its pie-like flavor is no trick, just a (luscious) treat
This time of year, we love to use one of our favorite autumn ingredients: pumpkin. You know, the big orange squash people use to make pumpkin pie.
But man (and woman) cannot live by pie alone. We also need ice cream!
Which reminds us: A while back, we discovered a way to make ice cream without churning—and using no special equipment except our trusty stand mixer. It’s a quick and easy method that produces better ice cream than anything you’re likely to buy in a carton.
So of course, we couldn’t resist adapting it to make this terrific tasting No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream. Just in time for Halloween. Boo!
Recipe: No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
This recipe follows the same basic technique we used in making No-Churn Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate.
The recipe is cream-rich, so it’s not diet food. But it’s so luscious, you’ll probably be satisfied with a smaller amount than you usually eat. It also uses sweetened condensed milk, which is just regular milk with much of the water removed and sweetener added. Milk and sugar are common ingredients in ice cream making, so using sweetened condensed milk is a quick way to mainline those ingredients into your ice cream base.
This recipe requires you to whip cream, which is easiest to do if you have a stand mixer. A hand mixer will work, but it takes longer. After you mix the ice cream, you’ll need to freeze it for several hours to develop proper consistency.
Mrs. Kitchen Riffs makes most of the sweets at our house, and this recipe is her creation. She adapted it from a recipe she found in 100+ Luscious Ice Creams without a Machine, an e-book by Suzy Bowler.
This recipe takes only about 20 minutes of hands-on time. But it requires you to cook a pumpkin mixture—and that will need to cool for an hour or more before you add it to the whipped cream. Then you’ll need to freeze the ice cream for at least 4 hours (maybe more, depending on your freezer temperature). BTW, you can cook the pumpkin mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to mix it into the ice cream.
This recipe yields about one quart, though it can easily be scaled up or down.
- 1½ cups pumpkin purée (canned works fine)
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt (see Notes)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (see Notes)
- 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 3 to 4 ounces sweetened condensed milk (see Notes)
- cinnamon stick or freshly ground nutmeg for garnish (optional)
- Place the pumpkin purée in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, if using a hand mixer). Add the brown sugar and mix in. Then add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- Place the pumpkin mixture in a microwave-safe container and microwave on high for 60- to 90-second intervals until the mixture reaches a temperature of about 180 degrees F (we use an instant-read thermometer to test). Stir the mixture after each cooking interval (but be careful, the container can get very hot).
- Remove the cooked pumpkin mixture from the microwave and add the maple syrup. Stir well to combine. Let the mixture cool to room temperature (cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap while cooling).
- Once the pumpkin mixture has cooled sufficiently, whip the cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer), whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks (i.e., ones that hold their shape when you lift out the whisk).
- Add the cooled pumpkin mixture to the whipped cream and fold it in gently.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk to the mixture (start with 3 ounces, then taste; if you’d like more sweetness, add another ounce; see Notes). Fold all the ingredients together until they are well mixed.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow one-quart container (see Notes) and cover tightly with a lid.
- Freeze the ice cream until it sets firmly (at least 4 hours in our freezer, though your timing may vary).
- When ready to serve, scoop the ice cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick or a dusting of freshly ground nutmeg, if desired.
- You can make this ice cream without microwaving the pumpkin (Step 2), but cooking with spices greatly enhances its flavor.
- If you don’t want to microwave the pumpkin, you could try roasting it in the oven (we haven’t cooked it that way for this dish, but suspect it would work fine).
- Sweetened condensed milk tends to be very, well, sweet. We suggest that you start by adding 3 ounces, then taste the mixture. If you want more sweetness, fold in another ounce.
- In the US, sweetened condensed milk generally is sold in 14-ounce containers. So if you open a new can and have some left over after making this dish, just pour the remaining milk into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It will keep for at least a week, and probably longer.
- Kosher salt is more coarse than regular table salt, so it’s less salty by volume. If you’re substituting table salt for Kosher, always use less—about half as much.
- You should use real maple syrup in this recipe. If the bottle doesn’t say “pure,” it’s not 100% maple syrup. Most “breakfast” or “pancake” syrups contain only a bit of maple syrup; the rest is flavoring and other sweeteners.
- You can freeze this ice cream in a container of any shape, though we find that shallow ones work best. They allow the mixture to freeze more quickly, which helps the ice cream maintain a smooth, creamy texture. Shallow plastic quart-sized containers work well.
- If you want “pie crust” in this ice cream, you might try adding some ground-up graham crackers or finely chopped nuts (we’d opt for pecans) in Step 5. We haven’t tried this, but like the idea.
- On another matter entirely: A big thanks to Charlie Louie who writes the terrific blog, Hotly Spiced. She’s doing a series in which she visits some of the blogs she reads regularly, reproducing a recipe from each of them. We’re delighted (and flattered) that, in this post, she’s visiting Kitchen Riffs. She makes our Easy Pickled Watermelon Rind—and you really need to visit her blog to see what a wonderful job she did with it. Thanks so much for your great post, Charlie!
Perfect for Autumn Holidays
“Wowzer,” I said, dipping a spoon into my dish of ice cream. “This totally tastes like pumpkin pie.”
“Thanks, that was the idea,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs.
“It’s perfect for Halloween,” I said.
“And Thanksgiving,” added Mrs K R.
“I don’t think I can wait that long before having another serving,” I said, eyeing the container. “Any chance you could scoop up seconds?”
“Easy as pie,” said Mrs K R.
I should have seen that coming.
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Or check out the index for more