Skip the pie and serve homemade pumpkin ice cream for your Thanksgiving dessert this year! Pumpkin is the perfect addition to homemade ice cream. It helps naturally thicken ice cream to create a smooth and perfectly scoop-able ice cream. Serve it with crushed gingersnaps or a drizzle of caramel for an extra fall treat
This ice cream is the perfect fall dessert to bring to Thanksgiving when you want to switch it up from the usual pies. You can even scoop it onto your favorite Thanksgiving pies for an ultra-decadent, autumnal treat! With the warming flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, we love this ice cream all on its own. But, you also can’t go wrong with toppings like crushed gingersnaps, a drizzle of caramel, or sweet and sticky candied pecans.
Top Tip: Really give your ice cream the time to chill and set — the longer the better. We get it, we want to dig into this pumpkin dessert as soon as possible too, but chilling it properly will ensure your ice cream is ideally set and deliciously creamy. We recommend a minimum of 2 to 3 hours, but chilling it overnight will only help it set even better.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree
- 2 c. whole milk
- 2 c. heavy cream
- 1 c. packed brown sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
The day before you plan to churn, freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker. Since your ice cream base will need to chill as well, we suggest making it the night before, too.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, and cream. When mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk brown sugar and egg yolks until pale and thick ribbons form, 3 to 4 minutes. (You could also use a hand mixer.) Whisking constantly, gradually add about half of hot pumpkin mixture to eggs, one ladle at a time, to warm mixture through. Pour mixture back into saucepan with remaining pumpkin mixture.
Return pan over low heat and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until mixture thickens, making sure the mixture never comes up to a simmer, about 4 to 5 minutes. To check if the mixture is done, coat the back of your wooden spoon with the mixture and swipe your finger through the mixture. If your finger leaves a clean line, your mixture is good to go—this will be at around 170°, if you’re using a candy thermometer.
When the custard is adequately thickened, stir in vanilla and spices. Strain into a large bowl and place over an ice bath. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and chill at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
When your custard is chilled and your ice cream maker bowl is frozen, churn ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions, about 15 minutes, scraping sides occasionally. When ice cream is soft-serve consistency, transfer to another container and freeze until hardened, 2 to 3 hours, up to overnight.