The ultimate plan for this roasted pumpkin ice cream is a plated dessert with grilled mochi, miso butterscotch, and a black sesame crumble; I haven’t finished the other components yet, but thought I would go ahead and share the ice cream recipe with you. Because it is intended for a dessert with Japanese flavors, I didn’t add any of the pumpkin pie spice flavors you might expect, and kept the pumpkin itself a bit subtle.
Although I’m calling this “roasted” pumpkin, I actually use a pressure-cooker technique cribbed from the Modernist Cuisine caramelized carrot soup. Cooking the pumpkin with a bit of baking soda increases the pH and encourages the Maillard reactions that add so much complexity to the flavor. If that doesn’t appeal to you, feel free to roast it in the oven instead (but don’t use the baking soda in that case, just roast plain pumpkin chunks.) Or if you want an even bigger shortcut, you could use plain canned pumpkin puree.
I measure the brix (sugar percentage) of the base before cooking it, and it was about 28 which is just slightly high, so next time I’d either use maybe 20 grams less sugar, or add a bit more of the pumpkin puree.
Roasted Pumpkin Puree
Yields about 500 grams, enough for 2+ batches of ice cream
- 1 small “Sugar Pie” or similar pumpkin (when whole, about 1100 grams / 2.4 pounds)
- 50 grams water (about 3 tablespoons)
- 3 grams salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 3.5 grams baking soda (scant 1/4 teaspoon)
- Peel the pumpkin, cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds. Clean, reserve, and roast the seeds for snacking or garnish.
- Cut the pumpkin flesh into 1/2″ dice.
- Combine the pumpkin, water, salt, and baking soda in your pressure cooker. Cook at 15 psi (low pressure), shaking occasionally, for 20 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release. Allow the chunks to cool to room temperature, then puree in a blender and pass through your finest sieve. Reserve.
Roasted Pumpkin Ice Cream
Yields about 1 liter (1.1 quarts)
- 200 grams roasted pumpkin puree (about 1 cup)
- 300 grams whole milk (about 1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 300 grams heavy cream (about 1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 150 grams sugar (about 2/3 cup)
- 120 grams egg yolk (about 6 yolks – reserve whites for another use)
- Blend all ingredients, strain, and cook sous vide for 1 hour at 85 C / 185 F. Alternatively, cook using standard custard ice cream technique. If you do go the sous vide route, you may also want to experiment with a shorter cooking time. Grant at ChefSteps told me that the hour long time brings out more of the egg yolk flavor, which is very pleasant but maybe fights with the pumpkin a little.
- Cool the base, then refrigerate overnight.
- Churn ice cream however you see fit – with a home ice cream maker, dry ice, liquid nitrogen, or PacoJet if you have one handy.