Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe

Cinnamon extract and coconut palm sugar combine with milk for this homemade pumpkin ice cream.

November/December 2014

  • Pecans and cinnamon to top off pumpkin ice cream.
    Photo by Karen K. Will

Yield: Yields 1 1/2 pints

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream is a treat any time of the year. Cinnamon oil can be substituted for the extract. I like to use coconut palm sugar in ice cream because it is low glycemic and has a wonderful molasses flavor.


• 1 1/2 cups whole milk or goat milk
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon extract
• 4 egg yolks
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2/3 cup pumpkin purée
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans


1. Place milk and cinnamon extract in heavy saucepan and heat to simmer (bubbles will form around outside of pan, but do not boil). Immediately remove pan from heat and set aside.

2. In large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar until pale and smooth. Slowly whisk in cinnamon-milk mixture until completely  incorporated.

3. Return all to saucepan, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats back of spoon. (Don’t get distracted. Watch the mixture carefully and remove from heat as soon as it coats the spoon. You can determine this when you dip a spoon into the custard and it forms a solid layer on the spoon. Run your finger across the custard, and if it makes a clear line, without running, it’s done.)

4. Place pan of custard into large bowl filled with ice water to cool. Whisk in cream and pumpkin. Chill custard in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

5. Meanwhile, pulse pecans in food processor until finely chopped. Toast in dry skillet just until you smell a nutty aroma. Set aside to cool.

6. Once custard is chilled, stir in toasted nuts. Pour mixture into electric ice cream maker and churn for 25 minutes, or according to manufacturer’s instructions.

7. Transfer ice cream to airtight container and freeze for a few hours. Allow ice cream to sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to soften before scooping and serving.

Interested in more squash recipes to pair with this cool weather? Check out Winter Squash Recipes Delight Diners.

Karen K. Will is editor of Heirloom Gardener magazine, and co-author, along with Editor-in-Chief Oscar H. Will III, of Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions (New Society Publishers, 2013).

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