I was browsing the internet for craft beer news and came across this recipe over at craftbeer.com, changing a Williams-Sonoma pumpkin ice cream recipe into a pumpkin beer recipe. I was intrigued and decided to give it a whirl, using the Southern Tier Pumpking as a star ingredient. The Pumpking has sweeter notes than other Pumpkin flavored craft beers, but also has great flavor and spice that would only enhance the recipe. Having 9% alcohol content in an ice cream can’t hurt much either.
The recipe at craftbeer.com does not call for the ginger snaps, nor the nutmeg and cinnamon so this is loosely based on their recipe, but mirrors the Williams-Sonoma recipe much more closely, aside from the beer of course.
In the future, I plan to do this with other flavors of beer, perhaps a nice Chocolate Stout ice cream with espresso beans, or Espresso ice cream with chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless.
- 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup of Pumpkin Beer (Recommended: Southern Tier Pumking)
- 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup of crushed Ginger Snap cookies
In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup of the cream and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.
Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. It is imperative to temper the egg mixture as to not cook the yolks. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4 to 6 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water, stirring occasionally until cool. Whisk the pumpkin mixture and ¾ cup of Pumpkin beer into the custard. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the crushed ginger snaps in the last 5 minutes of churning. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. Makes about 1 quart.
And there you have it, craft beer in an ice cream. We served this as a celebratory dessert after the home town Buffalo Bills earned a victory over the vaunted New England Patriots Sunday. If a Bills victory wasn’t enough, eating a Pumpking flavored ice cream made for a terrific Sunday.
The ice cream had a very creamy, custard texture. It smelled of pumpkin and spice, and you could certainly pick up the Pumpking. The ice cream tasted just as you would think given the ingredients. You could definitely pick up the alcohol from the Pumpking, as it was simply folded in and not cooked off in the process. Excellent spice notes from the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, along with the pumpkin puree. The ginger snaps offered more excellent flavor but really stood out to give the ice cream more texture. There’s nothing better than a little crunch in your ice cream.