I dread winter weather, but I love fall. I may have to wait on pulling out my fall clothes a little longer, but at least I have this pumpkin caramel ice cream recipe to help me begin the celebration of one of my favorite seasons right now.
Creamy pumpkin ice cream with a swirl of caramel and just the right amount of cinnamon doesn’t really need a season though, does it?
If you’ve never tried homemade ice cream, find a friend with an ice cream maker you can borrow and make some right now.
You’ll probably want your own ice cream maker after your first batch, promise. We have a basic model Cuisinart — and it was totally worth the investment for us. Ice cream makers aren’t too expensive, and it’s such a fun family activity to get everyone involved in flavor development.
I think we’ve bought ice cream from the store once in the three years we’ve owned this ice cream machine, so it’s definitely paid for itself. We love coming up with fun flavors to make, and I’m happy knowing there are no preservatives in our dessert!
Making the caramel pumpkin ice cream is very easy. You just need to plan a little in advance to allow the custard base some time to chill in the refrigerator. I like to make my custard base the evening before we whip up the ice cream and chill overnight. Then I let my helpers into the kitchen with me the next day when we’re adding the flavor ingredients and any mix-ins.
My daughter loves sampling the soft ice cream fresh out of the machine, but we always wait for it to freeze a few hours for that traditional ice cream texture.
You may purchase a specific ice cream container, but I use this OXO pop top container because I like the shape.
I hope you love this recipe for pumpkin caramel ice cream! One of my girlfriends declared it “the best ice cream she’s ever had” — and I just think it’s perfect for any pumpkin lover. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Caramel Ice Cream
- 1 ½ c heavy whipping cream
- 1 ½ c whole milk
- 2/3 c brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 egg yolks
- ¾ c pumpkin puree
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2/3 c caramel sauce plus additional for topping
The day before churning:
- Stir together the cream, milk, sugar and salt in a small pot over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove pot from heat.
- Whisk together the egg yolks in a separate mixing bowl and then slowly drizzle in about a cup of the hot milk and sugar mixture while whisking constantly. This tempers the yolks so you don’t cook them when you stir them into the pot.
- Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, stirring constantly. If you use a thermometer, it will read somewhere in the range of 170-175 F.
- Set a fine-mesh sieve over your mixing bowl and strain the ice cream base through the sieve to remove any cooked egg bits. Let the mixture come to room temperature and then cover and chill overnight.
Ice Cream Making Day!
- Stir the pumpkin puree and spices into your chilled base mixture. Since pumpkin can be a little grainy, especially if it’s homemade puree, strain the pumpkin base mixture once more through a fine-mesh sieve to catch any puree bits.
- Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your machine. I ran my machine about 10 minutes.
- Scoop 1/2 of the soft ice cream into your freezing container, top with 1/3 cup of caramel.
- Add the rest of the ice cream, and top with the remaining caramel.
- Use a chopstick or butter knife to quickly swirl the caramel throughout the ice cream.
- Freeze 3-4 hours until firm.
- Allow to soften 5-10 minutes before scooping to serve, topping with additional caramel if desired.
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