Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pumpkin Buttermilk Ice Cream

We make a lot of the ice cream we eat. There are some kinds we really like that we seek out at the store, but I've generally come to the conclusion that I like to know what's in the ice cream. Several years ago, I asked Secret Santa for the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It freezes for 24 hours, and then you put in the dasher, a converter, and go. It could not be easier to use. We do have a very old electric ice cream maker from my late father in law, but what it makes is dependent on how chopped up the ice is (and whether or not you realize that the salty ice water you pour out is going to kill your father's vinca plants on the side of the porch---oops.) 

Aiding and abetting my ice cream making habit is the availability of really neat, inexpensive cardboard ice cream quart containers. This company, Sweet Bliss Containers, sells online and is based in a nearby suburb.  They too received an ice cream maker and wanted containers for the freezer. Trust me, I've stabbed so many of the plastic containers trying to get the ice cream out. It won't budge. These work best. 

The ice cream Bible, as far as I'm concerned, is Ben and Jerry's "Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book," published in 1987. I got my copy, in fact, in 1987, as a non-ice-cream-maker-owning college student. My friend Suzanne and I drove 50 miles one day to go to the only store in Metro Atlanta that, at the time, sold the first Ben & Jerry's ice cream and buy pints of Heath Bar Crunch. My friend Karen is a Ben & Jerry's shareholder, just so that she gets invited to the annual shareholder's meeting in Vermont, which, at that time before its corporate takeover, involved all the ice cream you could consume. 

This recipe is a play on the pumpkin ice cream recipe found in the book. Ben and Jerry break ice cream making into two steps. Use the cream base of your choice as the stepping stone for the recipe. 

The only thing I have to add (beside the fact that making your own ice cream is insanely easy to do) is that you absolutely, positively want to chill your "batter" before you freeze it. Some recipes will say it; others assume you know that. Especially with the freezer style maker, if the batter's not cold, it will take the charge out of the coolant, making it a challenge to freeze. I've done it. Don't follow my lead on that one. 

Pumpkin Buttermilk Ice Cream

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: Two or more hours
Freezing Time: 20 minutes, but varies by freezer type
Curing Time in Freezer: 2-12 hours
Yield: Almost two quarts

Ice cream base: 

2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup buttermilk

Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Whisk in the sugar, a little bit at a time, and continue whisking. You do this to suspend the sugar crystals in the eggs. It's what gives the ice cream a light texture. When it's completely blended, pour in the cream and buttermilk, and whisk to blend. 

Pumpkin Batter:

1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 tsp. ground nutmeg (if you want to grate your own fresh, knock yourself out and watch your knuckles)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Put your pumpkin filling in a smaller bowl and mix. Add to it, one cup of your cream base, and stir until blended. Return the pumpkin filling to the remaining cream base and stir. Chill the batter, covered, in the fridge, for two hours or until you're ready to freeze it. 

Freeze according to the directions on your ice cream maker. 

This is where you mix a cup of the cream mix into the pumpkin mix. 

This is the coolest attachment I have for my stand mixer. I have yet to use the grain mill. 

Ice cream is one of the things that the boys will help make. 

A little reward for the work. 


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