I love autumn. When I was younger, I hated it because autumn inevitably leads to winter, and I hate winter with an embedded, passionate vengeance. Growing up in northern South Dakota, spending my whole life in various parts of SD, until finally moving to northwest Wisconsin… I know, I’m begging for punishment. 3-5 feet of snow, 50 mph winds, and temperatures not rising above zero for days (yes, days plural) at a time.
Anyway. Fall. In the last six years, I have grown to absolutely love it. And I know everyone else loves autumn, and I know that everyone loves pumpkin. And everybody goes a little pumpkin-crazy in September and October, especially with this year’s shortage. Yes, I enjoy pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie. I dig pumpkin cookies and muffins and pumpkin creamcheese logs and all of that. However, I needed something more. Something rougher… but smoother, something pumpkin-hardcore to pop on my tastebuds more than the typical baked good or semi-healthy recipe.
Enter: pumpkin icecream. SDSU (South Dakota State University), my true alma mater, has been doing a pumpkin icecream for years. As soon as a few leaves magically turned bright red overnight and someone living near campus would light a bonfire on a random weeknight, SDSU would start serving pumpkin ice cream exclusively at the Dairy Bar on campus. LONG before DQ dreamt up the pumpkin pie blizzard, SDSU was rockin the orange creamy, spicy goodness. I hearby dedicate this dessert to SDSU and all of my wonderful (slightly hazy) undergrad memories… particularly the autumn memories. Go Big, Go Blue, Go Jacks!
Pumpkin Ice Cream
2 large eggs
3/4 c. sugar
2 cups old-fashioned heavy cream
1 cup milk (skim, 1% or 2%)
1 can of pumpkin
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
dash of cardamom (optional, to taste)
1-2 Tbsp. brandy (optional)
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until foamy, 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar gradually, and whisk another minute. Add the heavy cream and milk and whisk to blend.
Transfer about 1 cup of cream and eggs mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Add the pumpkin and spices, and stir/whisk until blended. Add the pumpkin mixture back to the cream and blend together. Pour into your icecream maker and make according to manufacturer’s instructions. If desired, add the brandy to the icecream 5-10 minutes before the anticipated end of the cycle.
Spiced shortbread cookies
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. + 1 Tbsp. flour
1 t. cinnamon
dash of nutmeg, cardamom, and/or pumpkin pie spice (all optional, to taste)
Cream together butter and sugar. Add the spices and flour and mix. If needed, add 1/2 tsp. of water to form into a ball. Roll out with rolling pin to 1/4-1/3 inch. Cut into circles or triangles or any other preferred shape. Bake on ungreased baking pan at 325 F. for 7-10 minutes. Careful not to overbake– cookies will continue baking on the hot baking pan for a few minutes after you pull them out of the oven.
Serve these together and enjoy in front of candles or a fire with your loved ones. :)