Pumpkins are one of the most iconic symbols of cooler weather, and of holiday gatherings in North America. Pumpkin pie is one of my favourite desserts and considerably healthy, too, so I will happily make something a bit unexpected with the same flavour and health benefits but none of the gluten.
This ice cream has all the flavour and creaminess of pumpkin pie, can be made ahead, requires no baking, and is gluten-free. Using real pumpkin and the best quality Flora Pumpkin Seed Oil makes for an extra special treat with great nutritional value.
Since pumpkin itself does not taste like much, I used a lot of spice to give it extra punch and this special pumpkin oil featuring specially cultivated seeds from Austria. It has an exceptional taste and a deep colour alluding to its high chlorophyll content.
I love this oil because it is pure, unfiltered, unrefined, and made with certified organic ingredients. Flora uses very gentle, old-school European pressing techniques to protect the natural spectrum of omega fatty acids, which I am always aiming to get more of.
In terms of substitutions, you can use regular pumpkin oil if you have it on hand. A pumpkin pie spice blend would work well in place of the spices below; these usually contain equal amounts of ginger and nutmeg, twice as much cinnamon, and half as much ground cloves. You can also use maple syrup to replace some of or all the golden sugar. The finished product will still be tasty if you take this route but somewhat more prone to ice crystals and slightly less sweet.
Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
*If you do not have an ice cream maker, freeze a loaf pan or two (you’ll need a capacity of 8 cups). Instead of churning, simply fill the pan, cover it, and freeze until solid and scoopable, about 4 hours.
- 15-oz. / 445 mL pumpkin puree
- 2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup Flora Hydro-Therm Pumpkin Oil
- 1 cup golden sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp. each cinnamon & nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Make your ice cream custard base 1 or 2 days prior to serving your ice cream and at least 1 day before you plan to churn.
- Freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker*.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine pumpkin puree, milk and cream with a hand mixer. Once boiling, remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, blend sugar and egg yolks for 3 – 4 minutes. Gradually blend in about half the hot pumpkin mixture until eggs are warmed through. Pour everything back into the saucepan.
- Cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens, about 4 – 5 minutes, making sure it never bubbles. Coat the spoon with the mixture and swipe your finger through the mixture. If your finger leaves a clean line, it is ready, remove from heat.
- Blend the pumpkin oil and spices into the custard. Cool to room temp, then chill (covered) overnight in the refrigerator.
- Churn the chilled custard in your frozen ice cream maker until you reach soft-serve consistency, about 15 minutes*. Then transfer to a container with a lid and freeze at least 2 more hours before scooping and serving.
Dana Green Remedios, RHN, RNCP, NNCP, is a Vancouver-based educator and coach. She is a regular contributor to the FloraHealthy blog and can answer your questions in English, French, and Spanish as a Product Information Specialist at Flora.