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Ice cream maker + Thanksgiving= ???

I have an ice cream maker and am trying to decide on the frozen dessert for Thanksgiving. Some of my guests are low sugar/low salt/low taste lunatics, so a rich pumpkin pie ice cream may be off the list of possibilities. I've done a spiced cranberry sorbet before, and my husband has suggested chestnut ice cream What else can you all dream up?

(Same guests will run for the hills if I do an Iron Chef-type "serve it with a fried turkey wing tip scoop" presentation, so don't go there.)

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  1. I'm making cinnamon ice cream for a dinner party... it's basically an egg-less vanilla infused with cinnamon sticks and it comes out just lovely.

    Why not make 2 ice cream flavors and keep one of them vanilla? Homemade vanilla made with vanilla beans is spectacular in itself and then you can play with some fun flavors for those guests who are less "adventurous".

    2 Replies
    1. re: leanneabe

      Cinnamon ice cream is fantastic. You could try ginger, too, maybe with cristallized ginger in there?

      You can make a healthy apple pie ice cream - make a lowfat vanilla and swirl in chunky apple sauce in the last few minutes.

      Or try this recipe, but sub lowfat evaporated milk for the cream: http://www.theomnivoressolution.com/t...

      1. re: leanneabe

        Great idea on the cinnamon. I have Penzey's ultra-sexy Vietnamese cinnamon, too. I'm going to hard freeze small balls of it and serve it in persimmon shells, with balled persimmon flesh.

      2. I got tired of the usual desserts last year and made a three ice creams - pumpkin, cinammon and maple-walnut. All were delicious and made a great topping to pies or just eaten alone - some people just love ice cream! I am usually a low-fat type person, but I figure on Thanksgiving you have to go for it! Probably not the answer you're looking for but just wanted to add my experience.

        1. If you want to go with another healthy one, you could do an apple cider sorbet, with lots of allspice, ginger and cinnamon... or maybe you could do a plain vanilla frozen yogurt and just add a healthy dollop of pureed pumpkin - that would be creamy but still on the lowfat side.

          1. Didn't Bittman have a recipe for cornstarch ice cream a few weeks ago in the Times? That might be lower in fat and it could probably be a good base for a lot of "festive" flavors. I'm making full fat cinnamon, vanilla and considering a cranberry/pomegranate sorbet.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Elizzie

              I really like the idea of the apple cider sorbet. I have trouble picturing the finished product, however. Have you actually tried one? Did it turn out "light" with fine crystals?

              1. re: PBsherry

                I have not made apple cider sorbet, but I have cooked down other equally watery liquids and had them sorbet just fine. I like to try not to freeze it for too long though, a few hours and sorbet is at a great texture for me, whereas overnight it can get kindof icey.

            2. is goat's milk too outrageous for them?

              you can use the meyenberg low-fat variety, and the tangy flavor won't be too sweet for the low sugar people...plus, i personally think it complements traditional thanksgiving flavors [like cranberry, ginger, maple, and pumpkin pie] really well.

              if that's just too adventurous for them, i'd suggest offering the basics - vanilla & chocolate - and serving with a variety of homemade sauces/toppings - maple syrup with toasted walnuts, sauteed apples with pumpkin pie spices, molasses reduction with figs, dried cherry compote, dark chocolate sauce with orange, or even ginger...just get creative with your favorite flavors.

              1. That turkey ice cream on Food Network looked pretty tasty...

                1. You could do a butternut squash or pumpkin sorbet, and then swirl with a reduced fat/sugar vanilla ice cream/yogurt base.

                  You could also do a granita instead of using the ice cream maker.

                  Personally, I wouldn't do a cranberry sorbet if you're having cranberry sauce with dinner.

                  You could also make an ice cream using Total 0% yogurt as your base to reduce the fat content. It works well, and you could swirl in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, sweetener/sugar/stevia, nutmeg, vanilla extract, etc. and still have a pumpkin cream... then serve topped with a crushed graham cracker or two, or a crumbled biscotti...

                  1. If you want to go crazy, you could do an ice cream bombe. This is my in-laws festive dessert of choice. When I've made I've used rasoberry sorbet, vanilla ice cream and some kind of double chocolate brownie thing. I was looking at my notes and they said: "next year no vanilla - too boring." So you scould have one layer of super rich pumpkin with a couple of more demure sorbets...?
                    The good thing about it is that even if you make it in a plain mold (eg mixing bowl) it looks very pretty when sliced.

                    1. I recently posted my rendition of pumpkin gelato here:


                      It's very nice topped with candied pumpkin seeds!!

                      1. When we had more time (before kids) my husband used to make several ice creams for Thanksgiving. My favorite one that hasn't been mentioned already is caramel. It's incredibly delicious with apple pie. I don't think TG is the time to be low sugar/salt/taste ;-)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ThisNThat

                          actually if you replace some of the sugar with dark amber agave nectar [and correct for the difference in dry/liquid ratios], you'll still get the caramel sweetness but with a much lower glycemic effect [i.e. reduced spike in blood sugar].

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I have a sorbet question. I made a cranberry-orange sorbet. Very tasty, but my official taste tester didn't like it that there were some small seeds in the sorbet. Would anyone know if you can thaw a sorbet- then I would sieve it- and re-freeze it- if you can do this? Thanks.

                            1. re: markabauman

                              shouldn't be too much of a problem. if after refreezing, the texture is too icy or hard, partially thaw it, pulse in a food processor to break up the larger ice crystals, and freeze again. that should give you a nice, light, fluffy sorbet.

                        2. I am happy to report I made a goat's milk ice cream topped on a pumpkin pie recipe using evaporated goat's milk. UNBELIEVABLE! It was a perfect combination, had a gourmet flair, and fantastic topic of conversation. I found the recipes on Meyenberg.com