Autumn Spice Ice Cream

November 18, 2010 · 15 comments

It’s about 40º outside, with cloud cover creating a world outside my window that can be best described as wet gray. I’m sitting in my office nook, surrounded by drafty windows that chill my bones a bit, and my back faces the single fireplace in our house. The fireplace that has been deemed unsafe for fires.

What I need, I’m thinking, at a time like this is a big bowl of ice cream.

It’s silly, really, to think about ice cream in November. I’m much more likely, at treat time, to go for homemade hot cocoa or a cup of herbal tea. And it’s true that my beloved ice cream maker takes up new residence in a spot at the very back of my cabinet, that place that’s hard to get to without taking everything else out, for the winter months. But I still bring it out a few times just for spite or fun, and one of the more predictable of those times is for pumpkin ice cream.

After several failed attempts at pumpkin ice cream in recent years, I finally landed on a recipe last year that I liked. But even then, as we ate our way through that quart, I was thinking that the pumpkin was getting in the way of something. That really, I didn’t want pumpkin; I wanted the spices that usually go with pumpkin. So yesterday, after I promised to bring homemade ice cream to top brownies at our weekly community group dinner, I decided it was time to take that theory to task.

I started with vanilla ice cream — David Lebovitz’s recipe, Philadelphia-style, minus the vanilla bean (I was out), and using some brown sugar to replace white. I then took my favorite pumpkin pie spices and added them to the mix. The result was exactly what I was hoping for — sweet fall spices that give you all the thoughts of the perfect pumpkin pie, without the pumpkin texture. After a few more tastes from the still-churning cream, I decided the flavor was too polite, too expected. Liking to keep unsuspecting guinea pigs guests on their toes, I scrounged in the pantry for those last few pieces of candied ginger, chopped them fine, and tossed them in at the last second. They froze into hard little gems of intense sweet-spicy heat, lending a layer of sparkle to the inherent homeyness of the mix. Kinda what the holidays are all about, right?

I can tell when something is successful in my judgment when I have a hard time not eating it all. Let’s just say that I felt fortunate when we still had ice cream left to take to dinner.


Autumn Spice Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (or finely-ground sucanat)
  • heavy pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 oz candied ginger, finely minced (about 2 Tbsp)

In a small saucepan, combine one cup of the cream, both sugars, and salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the vanilla extract and the ground spices (cinnamon through cloves) to the mixture, and whisk vigorously until well-combined and no lumps of spices are visible.

Pour mixture through a fine-meshed strainer into a large bowl. Add the remaining cup of cream and the milk. Stir well to combine, and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (you can speed up this process using an ice bath).

Churn in your ice cream maker according to its instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the candied ginger a little at a time so it gets well-dispersed into the ice cream.

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This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday, hosted by GNOWFGLINS, A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, Sustainable Eats, and Culinary Bliss.

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Melissa November 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Sorry, I just can’t put something cold in my mouth right now but it does sound good. :)

katy November 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I know. I’m probably a month late on this recipe — October was still warm and ice cream was more desirable.

File it away for next fall?

Jill November 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Yum! I’ll eat ice cream anytime of the year- even in the middle of one of our Wyoming blizzards, ha!
Just wish I had some extra goat milk in my fridge so I could try this!

katy November 18, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Jill, goat milk would be great! I’ve yet to make ice cream with it, because when I get it I just want to drink it ; )

Angie @ Just Like The Number November 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm

It’s never too cold for good ice cream in our house. I’m thinking ice cream sandwiches with gingersnaps or molasses spice cookies. Mmm…

katy November 18, 2010 at 10:42 pm


DesignHER Momma November 18, 2010 at 10:25 pm

you are right. This recipie is everything that is right with Thanksgiving, without the orange monster being involved.

I recently made the Ben & Jerry’s pumpkin recipe, and to be honest, it was marginal.

And goats milk… I have to admit. I love me some goat cheese, but have never sipped.

katy November 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Did the B&J’s have canned pumpkin? Was it chalky?

If you can get really fresh goat milk, from goats that are fed alfalfa and other good things, it’s not goat-y at all… very much like cow’s milk, very good. I’m not sold on it for ice cream (though I’ve never tried it) since it’s naturally lower fat. I like thick, creamy ice cream (using at least some heavy cream).

DesignHER Momma November 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm

yes, it was canned pumpkin. To be honest, right off the bat I didn’t love it. SO, to be honest, Michael and the girls at the bulk of it.

And goats milk? Where do you get yours? And how do you use it? (besides ice cream). I love goat cheese….

Also, I got this comment in my email. :)

Sustainable Eats November 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm

This sounds like the perfect thing to put on top of a warm piece of pumpkin pie next week – brilliant! and thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday!

Tricia F. November 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

Is this what Tim brought to community group yesterday? If so, it was so delicious and I’m happy to have the recipe now. :)

Tricia F. November 19, 2010 at 12:02 am

Oops, didn’t read closely enough. I see you mentioned CG in there. Got my answer. :)

Mandi November 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

How crazy. I hadn’t even read your post about David’s pumpkin ice cream recipe, but made some last weekend and loved it. Since my husband detests pumpkin, I told him I’d give it a whirl without – just making something spicy and custard-y. You did the work for me – Yay!

P.S. I used your banana pudding ice cream method with David’s pumpkin ice cream. Layered it with your marshmallow creme and crumbled gingersnaps. It was awesome.

katy November 22, 2010 at 6:40 am

Mandi, if you both love custard-y, you might try David’s french-style vanilla with the same spices. I was trying to lighten up (in flavor, not fat!) the pumpkin, so went with the eggless.

That sound like an amazing idea, layering it with ginger cookies and marshmallow creme — in fact, I think I have some marshmallow creme in the freezer…

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