21 October 2010

Mandy's Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Man oh man, what's happening to October?  For one, it's almost over.  How did that even happen?  And, two, it's still too warm outside.  It was 81 degrees here today.  Okay, now, don't get me wrong.  Who am I to gripe about weather that's 81 degrees?  Fine.  All I'm sayin' is that a little nip in the air would be welcome.  But, hell, that'll be here soon enough.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the best thing that this warm, balmy October has to offer: pumpkin cheesecake ice cream.

Last year I looked all around for Ben and Jerry's pumpkin cheesecake ice cream, but couldn't find it.  All I could find was some Edy's low-cal garbage.  I tried to jazz it up with cream cheese blondies (and if I remember correctly they were quite good), but still, in the back of my mind, I was craving pumpkin cheesecake ice cream.  So at Thanksgiving we made a pumpkin cheesecake, but I somehow overdosed on Thanksgiving food and so I didn't really get to enjoy it the way I should have.  So, here I found myself, a year later, still craving pumpkin cheesecake ice cream. 

Only, now I own an ice cream maker.  And I also possess some mad ice-cream-makin' skillz.  Yes, that's skillz with a z.  (Pronounced skeals.)  So this one, ladies and gentlemen, is Mandy's Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream. 

What we have here is a pumpkin custard ice cream (the base of which is similar to Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice Cream), cream cheese ribbons, and brown sugar pie crust chunks.  So, don't think for a second that this ice cream is good for you.  It is not.  But that's okay, because each bite is so jam-packed with creamy pumpkiny spicy nutmeggy cinnamonny brown-sugary cream-cheesy goodness that you only need a few bites to be satisfied.  Share the rest. 

Mandy's Famous Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Cream Cheese Mixture (for the ribbons)
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese (NOT fat free)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar

Pumpkin Custard Mix
12 ounces pumpkin puree
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar

Pie Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 stick butter, cut into cubes


In a food processor, blend the ingredients for the cream cheese mixture.  Pulse until fully combined and smooth.  Empty contents into a bowl and refrigerate for an hour.

For the pumpkin custard mix, combine the pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a bowl.  In a large saucepan slowly heat 1 1/2 cups of cream with remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar.  (Do not let it reach a boil.)  Add the egg yolks and stir constantly, not allowing the temperature to exceed 160 degrees.  When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove, and add to the pumpkin mixture.  Stir until completely combined, and chill for an hour or two.

While the two mixes are chilling, combine the dry ingredients for the pie crust (flour, brown sugar, white sugar) in the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment.  With the mixer on low, slowly incorporate the butter pieces.  Mix for 1-2 minutes, until butter and dry ingredients reach an almost sandy consistency.  Press mixture into the bottom of a cookie sheet, and bake at 350 until crust is golden brown and slightly crispy.  Allow to cool, and break into chunks.

Once the pumpkin custard mix has chilled, freeze it in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.  In the last 5-10 minutes, add about 1/3 of the cream cheese mix.  Once fully incorporated, transfer to a large bowl.  Fold in the remainder of the cream cheese mix to create cream cheese ribbons throughout the ice cream.  Gently add and mix in half of the pie crust.  Save the other half for topping.

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