Desserts, Elaine Walker, Ice Cream

Pumpkin Ice Cream with Praline Sauce

Ice Cream
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg

Praline Sauce
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1: Toast Pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lightly spritz baking sheet with cooking spray.
Add pecans and toast them just until they become aromatic, about 5 minutes.
You have to watch them carefully as they are easily scorched.

Step 2: Make Praline Sauce
Combine brown sugar, cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in pecans and vanilla. Pour into a small bowl and let cool while making the ice cream.

Step 3: Make Ice Cream
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine 1-1/2 cups of the cream and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil. Remove from heat, pour into a large bowl and stir occasionally (to prevent a skin from forming on the custard) until completely cool.

Whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Mix into the custard. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (For the Cuisinart, put the blade in so that the circle is at the top. Turn the machine on first and then pour in the ice cream.)

Serve with praline sauce.

Makes about 1 quart.