Because the genetic history of the pumpkin is intertwined with the squash I thought I would use pureed butternut squash. Saying “butternut squash ice cream” does seem like such a mouthful…so pumpkin ice cream it is! You can of course use canned unsweetened pumpkin if you like. Butternut squash has a sweet nutty taste and when blended together with some warm spices makes this a festive type of ice cream. As this is a custard based ice cream using free range eggs is my choice. So if you are a pumpkin fan…start churning!
- 225g prepared butternut squash or canned pumpkin
- 600ml whipping cream
- 175g soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (see note below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua (optional)
- for garnish, 50g chopped walnuts (optional)
for the butternut puree
Peel the skin from one large butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes and steam for about 20 minutes or until tender. Pass through a food mill with a medium blade or place in a food processor and process until pureed. Put the pureed butternut squash into a sieve and place over a bowl, letting some of its water drain, about 45 minutes.
for the custard
Place a saucepan over medium heat, pour in the cream, add the brown sugar and pumpkin spice mix. Stir to dissolve the sugar, heating the cream until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk the egg yolks and Kahlua (if using) until smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and gradually but slowly whisk into the egg yolks until combined.
Place the bowl with the mixture over a saucepan of simmering water. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 8 minutes) and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it. Do not let the mixture boil at any stage or it will curdle. Remove for the heat and cool, stirring occasionally to stop a skin forming.
Combine the pureed butternut squash or canned pumpkin, vanilla extract and Kahlua (if using) with the cooled mixture. Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream machine and churn according to the
manufactures instructions usually 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the churned ice-cream to a freeze safe container, cover and freeze for about 2 or three hours until firm before serving.
Storage: This ice cream can be made a couple of days in advance. By placing some cling film directly on the surface of the firmed ice cream and covering with a lid helps preserve its fresh taste. Home-made ice-cream will set very hard so I always place the container in the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes to soften before using an ice-cream scoop.
Pumpkin Spice Mix
An electric spice or coffee grinder which is reserved especially for the job of grinding my spices and making up small batches at a time keeps the rich flavour of the spices at their freshest.
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 4 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 pinches of ground cloves 1 teaspoon ground ginger
If using ground spices:Mix all the ground spices together and store in a small airtight container.
If using whole spices: Grind the allspice, cinnamon and cloves in an electric spice or coffee grinder, then mix together with the nutmeg and ginger. Store in a small airtight container.