A creamy pumpkin custard studded with crunchy, browned butter candied pecans and an optional splash of bourbon, this pumpkin spice ice cream is the ultimate fall treat.
This pumpkin spice ice cream (or pumpkin spice-cream as I sometimes call it) is a huge favorite during the fall months and especially for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
for the pumpkin spice ice cream
- heavy cream
- pumpkin puree
- egg yolks
- vanilla extract
- brown sugar
- pumpkin pie spice
- kosher salt
- bourbon or dark rum (optional)
for candied pecans
- pecan halves
- brown sugar
- ¼ kosher salt
See recipe card for quantities.
- First, make the candied pecans: melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook until butter begins to turn golden brown and immediately add sugar. Cook for another 30 seconds while stirring until the sugar melts. Add pecans, water, and salt and cook for about 3 minutes until the mixture clings to the pecans and moisture has evaporated. Spread out onto parchment in a single layer and allow to cool before chopping.
- Next, make the ice cream: Combine all ice cream ingredients (except bourbon) in a saucepan and whisk well to combine. Place pan over medium heat and heat to 170 degrees F while stirring almost constantly. If you do not have a thermometer, you will want to look for tiny wisps of steam and the mixture to just being to thicken. You will see tiny bubbles around the edges but you do not want this to boil.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to warm room temperature before placing in the refrigerator until completely cold.
- Once mixture is cold, churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions or until soft-serve consistency is achieved. Scoop mixture into freezer safe container adding chopped candied pecans as you go. Place in freezer and freeze until firm.
Hint: place the container you are going to freeze the ice cream in in the freezer so it is nice and chilled when you add the ice cream to it!
Feel free to use any nut you prefer if pecans are not your favorite - walnuts, hazelnuts, or cashews would be very good. Or, If you are not a fan of nuts, feel free to leave them out or substitute white or dark chocolate chips instead.
Serve with whipped cream and Gingerbread Caramel Sauce for a real treat!
Having a high quality ice cream maker is a must if you are going to make homemade ice cream regularly. This is my favorite Cuisinart Ice-100 Ice Cream Maker (affiliate link).
If you do not have an ice cream maker, Check out these no-churn ice cream recipes:
The ice cream base can be made 2 days ahead and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator. After freezing, homemade ice cream will keep for 2-3 weeks in the freezer before the texture begins to change.
When cooking the custard ice cream base, be vigilant and do not walk away. You will want to stir or whisk almost constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir. If you do think your mixture has curdled, you can strain through a fine mesh sieve before chilling.
Pumpkin spice or pumpkin pie spice is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Sometimes allspice or black pepper are included. It is simple to make at home but you can also buy it premade.
Egg yolks and/or heavy cream. I love making a custard based ice cream as it is the creamiest. Also, having a good ice cream maker that chills the ice cream quickly will result in a very creamy ice cream without ice crystals.
Eggs help prevent ice crystals and result in a creamy, custard-style ice cream. If you leave the eggs out, you will still have ice cream it just won't be as creamy.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Pair this pumpkin spice ice cream with just about any of my fall recipes:Print