First things first, a pumpkin without a face just seems like a very sad pumpkin. So, I am going to draw one on mine before I do anything else.
Ahhh, much better! If you are looking to carve one, check out my How-To on pumpkin carving.
Place the pumpkin (sliced sides down) on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake it for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. When it’s done, it will be fork-tender, the skin will have darkened and the whole thing will look like a deflated balloon.
While that is happening, let’s start the custard-base for this ice cream. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of whipping cream, ¾ cup packed brown sugar, 1 tsp freshly grated ginger, ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, 12 allspice berries, 5 cloves, 3 cardamom pods, 6 black peppercorns, 6-inches of citrus peel, 1/2 vanilla bean and the pod, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Warm over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves and bubbles form around the edges.
NOTE: Want a healthier ice cream? You can use milk that is much lower in fat. However, while you can boil the hell outta cream, the same is not true for other dairy products. They will curdle. The solution is to cook lower-fat dairy products to a temperature of only 180° or less.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar (two tablespoons) until they are creamed. Gradually whisk ½ cup of the hot cream mixture.
Slowly add the egg mixture to the hot cream mixture. Now, this is where most ice cream making goes wrong. While we have tempered the eggs, there is still room for error. So make sure you are whisking the hot cream mixture while you are adding in the eggs…slowly!
Cook and stir the mixture over a medium heat until the mixture thickens. Do not let it boil! This should take about 5 minutes and when it’s ready, the mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and leave a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it.
The pumpkin should be close to ready. When it is, remove it from the oven and let it cool enough to remove and discard the skin. The flesh should fall off but if not, scrape it off using a spoon. Then run the flesh through a food processor until super smooth and a cheesecloth after to remove any extra bits and pieces.
Add 1 cup of the creamed pumpkin to the warm custard mixture and combine. Now strain the mixture through a colander into a bowl. This will remove all of the spices.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate, for at least 3 hours.
Add the pumpkin custard to your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturers directions. Pack the ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.
I served mine in mini carved out pumpkins but you don’t have to do that. It is a lot of work (and a bit wasteful). It looks great though! Especially with some sprinkles and whipped cream.