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Seeking opinions about Pumpkin Ice Cream

I'm making some.

Wondering whether there should be add-ins and, if so, what kind.

So here's a ballot for you to vote on if you'd be so kind.

1. No add-ins. Simple is best
2. Nuts (either pecans or walnuts, or maybe both)
3. Candied Ginger chunks
4. Chocolate Chips
5. Peanut Butter Brittle
6. Other [specify]


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  1. umm, all of the above? ;)

    seriously, i like every one of those ideas, with the exception of the peanut brittle - i can't imagine crunching down on rock-hard shards of it. ouch. globs of PB though? absolutely!

    other ideas:
    - cinnamon
    - salted or spiced caramel swirl
    - graham cracker or gingersnap crumbs/chunks
    - cheesecake swirl or chunks
    - espresso chips

    8 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      +1 on cheesecake chunks, or a spiced cream cheese swirl.

      1. re: ohmyyum

        Agreed, a creamy swirl is great. Just bought some pumpkin ice cream with marshmallow swirl. Yum. Could also swirl with vanilla ice cream.

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        While you're adding spices, mix in nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. +1 on the gingersnap.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Along the idea of graham cracker, use biscoff.

          1. re: chowser

            Brilliant idea. I wish they made ice-cream cones out of that stuff.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              i almost suggested them as a joke :) but nah, potato doesn't work with pumpkin for me.

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              If you take the brittle and whiz it up in a cuisinarts you get praline powder. Fold this into your spun ice cream and freeze to harden. It ends up being lovely pockets of praline, with whatever toasty nuts you choose to use giving the ice cream a nice contrasting flavor. Walnut praline, pistachio praline, peanut...endless possibilities and no hard chards.

            3. Candied ginger sounds delicious.

              7 Replies
                1. re: Tara57

                  Delicious, yes, but I wonder about the texture of candied ginger, which is rather soft and gummy. I love it by itself and in baked goods, but I don't know if i would like it in ice cream. I would suggest a hard candy with a strong ginger flavor broken up into small pieces. Or the gingersnaps. Nuts would also be good. Pistachios would provide a nice color contrast with the ice cream. I'd do one or the other: nuts or ginger/snaps but not both.

                  1. re: cheesemaestro

                    candied ginger can also be VERY assertive on the palate -- IMO it's too aggressive to play nice with the pumpkin and cream.

                    Spices as in a pumpkin pie, and pecans or walnuts -- candied as in DuchessNukem's response just below might give you a pumpkin pie/pecan pie ice cream hybrid. (dear god, keep me away from THAT!)

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      you can shave the candied ginger into flakes - it's a great way to get a nice burst of flavor without it overpowering everything...and it's gentler on your teeth than a chunk would be.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        or top the ice cream with ginger infused whip cream.

                        1. re: twyst

                          Or make ice cream sandwiches with chewy gingerbread cookies that include crystallized ginger. (saw at Martha Stewart site once)

                          Update/edit: olyolyy below was on this already several days ago.

                    2. re: cheesemaestro

                      I've had candied ginger in ice cream before, and really enjoyed it. It was diced quite small and the ice cream was very flavourful. The texture was quite good.

                  2. No add ins, but maybe work some of those other ideas into garnishes (ie cinnamon tuille etc)

                    1. Agree w/nuts (lean toward pecans over the very slight bitter of walnuts). Candied and chopped might be nice too.

                      Pastry chunks (cooked) to simulate pie.

                      A sweet cream swirl appeals too if possible. Or a bit of homemade vanilla ice cream by the side.

                      1. ips, how about bits of pumpkin and/or toasted-salted pumpkin seeds?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: HillJ

                          Don't you think that would be gilding the lily, so to speak?

                          Although the pumpkin seeds would provide a nice contrast -- both texturally and taste-wise.

                            1. re: HillJ

                              Some chocolate chips with your chocolate ice cream, and a little chocolate syrup to top that off, along with some shaved chocolate on top?

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                While sitting in a chocolate tub eating from a chocolate spoon!

                            2. re: ipsedixit

                              What about pumpkin pie in pumpkin ice cream? For overkill, top pumpkin pie with pumpkin pie pumpkin ice cream. Or gingersnap crust pumpkin cheesecake pumpkin ice cream...

                          1. Don't put hard things in ice cream (or mashed potatoes!) Why would you do that?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: blue room

                              what qualifies as "hard" to you? pretzels, nuts & cookies are all common add-ins. i do think frozen brittle would be awful to [try to] bite into.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Shaved chocolate (little grated bits that melt in my mouth) are ok.
                                I just prefer smooth. I wouldn't want "bits" in soft soft cheese, (like Camembert) either. Or pumpkin pie. Purely a personal preference.

                                1. re: blue room

                                  understood. i'm actually with you on the texture thing, though it's partially because it *kills* my sensitive teeth to bite into anything cold.

                            2. Graham cracker chunks are excellent, as well as a swirl of sweetened cream cheese. Deeelish!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jesRush

                                "a swirl of sweetened cream cheese"

                              2. A shot of Myers or Gosling dark rum?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Veggo

                                  years ago I made a Bourbon Pumpkin Pie (from Camille Glenn's cookbook on Southern cooking) and it **rocked** -- Myers would be awesome, too, with the molasses-y undertones.

                                2. Candied ginger and/or broken-up gingersnaps. I've had pumpkin ice cream with candied ginger (from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory in NYC) and it was great. But then, candied ginger is one of my favorite things in the world.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    Agreed. I love pumpkin ice cream with candied ginger. It works. I've made it.

                                    Also, bear in mind that the pumpkin you add for flavor should have almost no water, otherwise it will affect the texture of the ice cream. If you use pumpkin puree from a can, squeeze out all the excess liquid by spreading it between many layers of paper towels.

                                    I also think, just plain pumpkin would be beautiful, and garnishing with crystallized ginger. Or no garnish.

                                    If you'll be serving the pumpkin ice cream with pecan pie (what I've done), the pie will supply the nuts so no need to add them into the ice cream.

                                  2. Instead of additions to the actual ice cream, I like to use some of those items, like the candied ginger, or crushed ginger cookies to add a decorative topping to the ice cream. I like to leave the ice cream s-m-o-o-t-h.

                                    1. No add ins, and especially no pumpkin pie spice.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: olyolyy

                                        The kind that comes premixed, or would you not even add cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc. ?

                                        1. re: CanadaGirl

                                          No spices whatsoever aside from a little vanilla for me.

                                          1. re: olyolyy

                                            Wow. You and I are not on the same page on this at all :)

                                            1. re: CanadaGirl

                                              I had some plain pumpkin ice cream sandwiched between two ginger molasses cookies that changed my life. No turning back after that.

                                              1. re: olyolyy

                                                It depends on the type of pumpkin you use.

                                      2. Love pumpkin ice cream or custard.

                                        Chopped unsalted pepitas
                                        Crushed Ginger Snaps
                                        Maple syrup

                                        1. I added yellow curry paste, just a hint to the pumpkin ice cream and I loved it.

                                          1. I don't add ins when I make it, other than spices of course.

                                            1. In the past, we make a crustless pumpkin pie and layer it between the pumpkin ice cream. It is always a crowd pleaser.

                                              Best of luck!

                                              1. Reporting back.

                                                For the purists out there, I don't think there is anything better than a nice custard-y pumpkin ice cream made with fresh sugar pumpkins (with rum, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar).

                                                For those that prefer add-ins, I think the clear winner was with crushed Almond Roca candy. Second runner-up was probably walnuts. Last was chocolate nibs.