I am a huge fan of the orange festive squash (AKA pumpkin); and this fall I’ve been developing new recipes to spawn the alternative to pumpkin pie. While I always enjoy the traditional pumpkin pie, and wouldn’t dream of a November with out a slice (or three!) of it, I adore the look of surprise my guests display when I serve my this versatile vegetable as ice cream. This dessert can be prepared up to four days in advance.
(Note: Be sure to read over the entire recipe as there are two ingredients lists and two sets of directions.)
Pumpkin Ginger Semi-Freddo Ice Cream
Pumpkin Ice Cream Ingredients
1 small pumpkin, approximately 1 lb
4 TBS lime juice
2 pieces crystallized ginger, chopped
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup light muscavado sugar
1 cup heavy cream
pumpkin seed brittle (directions to follow)
Pumpkin Ice Cream Directions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and fibers from the center of the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin seeds, and any of the fiber that clings to them, in a bowl and cover with water. Using your hands, squeeze the pulp until the seeds separate from the fiber and rise to the surface. To clean any remaining fiber from the seeds, rinse them through a colander. Drain seeds on a paper towel. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly sprinkle with oil. Transfer the seeds to the baking sheet, forming a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and set aside to cool until it is time to prepare the brittle (recipe below).
There two options for cooking the pumpkin, however I have opted for the quicker of the two methods. For those that wish to roast the pumpkin, directions are provided below.** Cut the pumpkin into wedges and place skin side up on a microwave safe plate. Microwave on high for 15 minutes, checking occasionally, as the time will vary with size. The pumpkin is ready when it is soft to the touch and the plump can be easily scooped away from its skin. Allow to cool.
Remove the skin and chop into 1-inch pieces.
In a blender or food processor, puree the cubes of cooked pumpkin with the lime juice until it becomes a smooth puree. Add the ginger and blend briefly to combine.
Place the egg yokes and sugar in a bowl and set over a pot of simmering hot water. Whisk the mixture until thick and creamy, then add in the pumpkin puree.
In a medium-size bowl, whip the cream until it is firm and has soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into pumpkin mixture until well combined. Place in a container and freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight.
To soften ice cream before serving, transfer the ice cream to the refrigerator 45-60 minutes before serving.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Pumpkin Seed Brittle Ingredients
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup superfine (or Caster) sugar
2 TBS white corn syrup
1 1/4 cups pumpkin seeds, toasted
Pumpkin Seed Brittle Directions
In a medium size pot, add the water, sugar and corn syrup. The best way to test candy is with a heavy gauge candy thermometer. They are not very expensive and make the job a whole lot easier. To cook the candy, it is important to stir continuously, until the thermometer reaches 290-300 degrees. (If you do not have a candy thermometer, the next best method is the cold water test. It is a little more tricky, but easy enough once you learn how it works. Testing candy with this method requires patience. It is necessary to test the sugar consistency every 2-3 minutes until it reaches a Soft Crack consistency, which is when the syrup will separate into threads that are hard but not brittle.) Immediately remove from heat and pour the syrup over the seeds. Allow to set for 1 hour.
Once the brittle has set, break into pieces. Scoop ice cream and serve with pumpkin seed brittle.
** If you wish to roast the pumpkin in the oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a foil lined baking sheet, place pumpkin cut side down. Roast until soft, approximately 35-45 minutes.