It’s October and I’m officially embracing pumpkin, not PSL (which I’ve never understood), but actual pumpkin. And once again, Nigella Lawson delivers a simple recipe for a beautiful, no-churn ice cream that celebrates this autumn fruit.
‘Tis the Season for Pumpkin and Spice
One thing I miss about living in the Northeast is the change of seasons and autumn was always my favorite. In Boston, as fall approached, there was a definite chill in the air, but even if I still lived in Boston, I would make this ice cream.
Pumpkins are one of the quintessential fruit of fall. By this time last year we harvested pumpkins from our garden in time for fall decorating and baking. Unfortunately, we were late getting pumpkin plants in the ground this year so we probably won’t have pumpkins until closer to Thanksgiving. Although we won’t have homemade pumpkin puree, never fear, I always have pumpkin puree in the freezer. It seems that most recipes don’t use a full can of pumpkin, unless you are making a pumpkin pie, and it’s easy to portion out the remainder to be used for future bakes and, in this case, ice cream.
Nigella’s No-Churn Ice Creams
Just like the no-churn ice creams I shared in the past (coffee and bourbon salted caramel), this ice cream base is a mixture of heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk. (Sweetened condensed milk is such a magical ingredient, but I digress.) The aeration doesn’t come from an ice cream maker but from a mixer. I use a stand mixer but a hand held mixer would work just as well. In addition to the pumpkin, the ice cream is flavored with a little pumpkin pie spice and brandy. Five simple ingredients are all it takes.
The ice cream is flecked with bits of pumpkin and spices. It’s smooth and creamy the way ice cream should be with a subtle pumpkin flavor that’s not too sweet.
I enjoy this ice cream as is but if you want to zhoosh it up a bit more and really bring in that pumpkin pie feeling, top the ice cream with some graham cracker crumbs and a dollop of whipped cream.
A couple of additional things – 1) I found that it’s best to let the ice cream sit overnight so the flavors meld and 2) definitely plan to have the ice cream sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. Even in Hawaii where room temperature can be fairly warm, it needs the time to soften just a bit.
This simple recipe is a perfect way to celebrate the transition from summer to fall, bringing together cool ice cream and warm fall flavors. It is modified slightly from the original found in Simply Nigella.
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, well-chilled
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons brandy, to taste*
Place the pumpkin puree in a small bowl. Slowly add the sweetened condensed milk, gently whisking until everything is well-blended. Do not add all of the milk at once or the mixture will be lumpy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently add the pumpkin mixture and whisk until the mixture thickens.
Sprinkle the pumpkin pie spice over the ice cream and slowly whisk in the brandy.
Spoon the ice cream into an air tight container and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.**
* The more brandy you add, the softer the ice cream will be. At a minimum it needs 2 tablespoons but 3 would be better.
** Letting the ice cream sit at room temperature is an important step. It needs to soften a bit to serve.
To enhance the pumpkin pie feeling, serve the ice cream with a sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs and a dollop of whipped cream.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Inactive Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes
- Category: Ice Cream
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 224.10
- Sugar: 15.55 g.
- Sodium: 43.51 mg.
- Fat: 15.72 g.
- Saturated Fat: 10.01 g.
- Carbohydrates: 16.35 g.
- Fiber: 0.48 g.
- Protein: 3.27 g.
- Cholesterol: 50.74 g.
Keywords: pumpkin, brandy, Nigella Lawson