It’s no secret that I am BONKERS for fall and the food that goes with it. I can’t even handle how much I love it. I love everything about it… the food, the weather, the movies. Shoot, I even do Snoopy’s happy dance when I think about pumpkins and leaves falling to the ground.
When our temperatures dropped precipitously last week, I knew I couldn’t wait one minute longer. I drove to the store at eight thirty at night (no mean feat considering we live miles not minutes from the nearest grocery store) and grabbed all three cans on the shelf. Apparently whoever stocks them does not share my impatience for autumn and it’s attendant yummies. I got home, arranged my cans of pumpkin on the kitchen counter so I’d see them first thing in the morning, and went to bed with visions of pumpkin rolls, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin everything dancing in my head.
When I woke up the next morning it was EIGHTY SEVEN DEGREES with seventy percent humidity. I’m pretty sure I pouted. Then I got creative. I wasn’t going to heat anything up AND I was going to get my pumpkin fix, dadburnit.
I decided to make super silky Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream. Can I get an amen?
How to get rich, smooth ice cream without making a custard first
If you’ve spent much time making ice cream, you may be wondering how I got a velvety smooth, rich ice cream without making a custard base (and by extension, standing over a double boiler whisking an egg-based custard until it thickened, then waiting for it to cool down in the refrigerator or an ice bath.) It’s because I employed two secret weapons: CREAM CHEESE and my BLENDER. Am I hearing another amen yet? It’s ridiculously simple to make a fantastic ice cream in little longer than it takes your ice cream maker to do it’s thang.* It’s the cream cheese that does the trick, really… Not only does it make it taste like cheesecake from heaven, but it also thickens, smooths out, and otherwise improves the final product.
*”Doing it’s thaaaaaang” is what my seven year old calls the process of turning liquid to deliciousness in the ice cream maker.
After the thang is done, you can either eat your soft serve confection that tastes exactly like pumpkin cheesecake in ice cream form or pack it into a container and stuff it in the freezer for a couple of hours. You will spend this time -in all likelihood- drumming your fingers on the counter and snitching bites from the container in the freezer. At some point, you may decide to quit snitching (so it’ll harden enough to scoop already, dangit!) and contemplate your serving options. While thinking of serving options, I decided it was most definitely time to gild the lily and made Salted Pepita Brittle and a killer caramel sauce (also lightly salted) to put on top.
Yeah. Um, I realize that’s pretty over the top, but what I want to know is whether anyone objects.
A Word about Raw Sugar in Caramel Sauce:
I highly, strongly, truly recommend you use raw sugar in this caramel sauce. It gives an extra depth of flavour that is just not available in white sugar. It gives the caramel extra oomph and colour. Please don’t skip using this. It only calls for one cup, you could even get that by emptying packets of sugar-in-the-raw if that’s the only way you can buy it. Luckily, you don’t need to be reduced to that because Amazon.com has it available. (The following link is an Amazon affiliate link. I receive a small commission that in no way effects the price of the item when you order through this link. Thank you!)
So here’s the deal. Make the ice cream. You don’t HAVE to put the Salted Caramel ~OR~ the Salted Pepita Brittle, but I do recommend trying at least one of them on the ice cream. Why? Because it is so. darned. good. It’s everything wonderful about autumn in a package you can eat right now without martyring yourself to prepare it. Go on, I dare you to make it and tell me it isn’t easy!
What’s your favourite part of fall? Is it weather? Food? Football? School? Are you a fall fan, too, or are you yelling at me to cut it out already because we’re not even officially IN fall? Talk to me!