Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Ice Cream

With Christmas just around the corner, your chance to bake with pumpkin is quickly dwindling. I for one love me a good pumpkin dessert and after years of experimenting with more adventurous fare like pumpkin ice cream pie, I decided to go classic this year with a spiced pumpkin pie. Not content to deliver something that seemed too simple, I added a homemade cream cheese ice cream, too.

For the pie, I opted for the recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Pie I listed in my pre-Thanksgiving article Pies, Pies, Pies. Alas, I had too much mixture for my pie shell, and as I tried to get it into the oven it went sloshing out over the edge. I wasn't worried (yet!) because I had even more left in my bowl. Little did I realize though that the crust that got wet during the sloshing would disintegrate while the pie was in the oven, and at the halfway point, I looked into the oven to see a molten wave of pumpkin pie filling pouring out over the edge. After some expletives and frantic cleaning efforts, I left the pie to finish baking a wee bit lower than I'd intended. Fortunately the mess didn't impact the taste, and the pie was rich and smooth with a complex blend of spices adding depth.

While the pie was good, it was the ice cream that blew me away. Most ice creams take quite a while to make because you have to let the base freeze before it goes in the ice cream maker, so the magic of this recipe is that you can skip that step.

Gourmet | April 2003
Active time: 5 min Start to finish: 2 1/2 hr (includes freezing)
Yield: Makes about 1 qt
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Special equipment: an ice cream maker

Blend cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in cream. Freeze cream cheese mixture in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours. Let ice cream soften 5 minutes before serving.

It took a bit longer to freeze in the ice cream maker than I'm used to, but just let it go until it's solid enough. I found that an old yogurt container was a perfect vehicle for freezing and protected it from the icy top layer I sometimes get when using Tupperware.

Some describe this ice cream as tasting like frozen cheesecake. However, you describe it, it was delicious and so easy to make. The tartness balanced the rich creaminess of the pie and took dessert to another level. This recipe is perfect for playing around with, too. Imagine how delicious some baked cinnamon apples, berries or cherries would be mixed in!



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