It's not just for Thanksgiving and Halloween
by Ansell Hawkins
for Real Families, Real Fun
f you associate pumpkins only with Halloween and Thanksgiving, think again. Fresh pumpkins are available throughout the winter and its use extends beyond the jack-o-lantern, seeds and pie filling. In spirit of its cold weather harvesting, whip up pumpkin ice cream. What makes pumpkin pie so irresistible is what makes pumpkin ice cream so sweet and delicious-the soft orange flesh (which is packed with Vitamin A). Depending on your patience and time, there are two ways to get the main ingredient: roast it or buy it canned.
To roast your own, give the kids quarters of a smallish pumpkin and large spoons to scrape off the fibrous interior and push out the seeds. (Save the seeds for drying and roasting later.) Lay the pieces skin side up on a baking tray lined with foil and bake at 450 degrees for 1/2 hour or until easily pierced with a fork. Bring the children back with their spoons and let them scrape the flesh off the rind, into a large bowl. Next, give them a large wooden spoon and show them how to mash it until it's smooth.
The other option requires only a can opener. Lynda Hannan says, "John had already gone through three to four pumpkins and roasted the seeds. By the time this came along, I was a little tired of the mess (and out of pumpkins)." Needless to say, Lynda opted for the canned puree.
What You'll Need:
- A double boiler, or a large stainless steel bowl over a large saucepan
- A whisk
- A large spoon (metal or wooden)
- 2 qt. saucepan
- 1 measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- A sieve (optional)
- Ice-cream maker, electric or hand-crank
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/8 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup scalded milk (milk that has been heated just below the boiling point)
- 1 1/4 cup pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Parents, let the kids measure the first portion of dry ingredients into the double boiler or the stainless steel bowl. Jack Hannan's mom reports, "He loves dumping the ingredients. Even Katie (21 months) is old enough to take a turn at emptying the measuring spoons into the bowl." Then you can whisk the eggs until the mixture thickens enough to coat and stick to the back of a metal spoon.
Then, again, turn it over to the kids. Allow them to pour the scalded milk (cooled), vanilla, and the pumpkin puree, stirring gently. If you like, you could pass the result through a sieve for smoother consistency. Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator or freezer, but don't let it freeze. Or, do as LaClairs did because they didn't have an ice-cream maker. Peggy LaClair reports, "Keith put some in a cup and put it in the freezer for about one hour. Even though the directions said not to let it freeze, it seemed just like ice cream."
The LaClairs had another great variation for their creation--ice cream topping, taking the chilled mixture and pouring it over store-bought ice cream.
Add pumpkin ice cream to your holiday happenings
- Pumpkin ice cream served over warm waffles and drizzled with maple syrup makes a perfect Sunday night supper.
- Bring a dreidel game to a happy finish with a full serving of pumpkin ice cream for everyone.
- The zingy flavor of pumpkin ice cream complements the traditional Christmas sugar cookie.
TAKE IT FROM ME:
"Organic, once-pasteurized cream makes the best ice cream. A commercial cream seems to create a thinner ice cream."
This article © 2001-2004 Studio One Networks.