Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin ice cream and affogatos

I have a confession to make: As much as I enjoy laying out in the sun and getting (my VERY LIGHT shade of) tan, as much as I enjoy my hair being blonde, as much as I enjoy the heat... I adore the fall.

Having grown up in New England, I was born and bred with an addiction to autumn. I love the sights, the sounds, and the tastes of fall. So naturally once the calendar page flipped to October, I ran right to the store and picked up one of the most classic fall flavors -- pumpkin.

I wanted to do something different with the pumpkin besides the standard pumpkin bread or pumpkin roll, so I decided to go in a different, chillier direction with ice cream. To take the fall flavor even deeper, I went with an affogato, made with cinnamon Starbucks coffee.

Before about two years ago, I'd never heard of an affogato. I tried one on our trip to the Berkshires, and was instantly in love. "Affogato" is Italian for "drowned," and this ice cream treat is literally drowned in espresso. In place of espresso, I used coffee, but trust me -- it may sound odd, but once you combine the raw coffee flavor with the sweet creaminess of the ice cream... yum. You won't regret it.


Pumpkin Ice Cream and Affogatos
Yields about 10 half-cup servings

Ice cream

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean (pod and beans)
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 15-ounce can of pure pumpkin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar

Starbucks cinnamon coffee
cinnamon stick (garnish)

Cuisinart ice cream maker
medium saucepan
mixing bowl
glass bowl (for chilling)

In saucepan, combine milk and cream. Cut open vanilla bean, toss seeds into cream mixture. Once seeds are removed, add pod to mixture. Heat cream on medium-low for 30 minutes and remove from heat.

In separate mixing bowl, combine egg, pumpkin, sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and sugars. Beat with whisk until smooth.

Using a ladle or spoon, add a small amount of the heated cream to the pumpkin mixture. Mix until combined, then add another spoonful. This will temper the mixture so the egg doesn't scramble when exposed to heat.

Pour all of the pumpkin mixture into the saucepan with the cream, and mix until smooth. Pour into glass bowl, and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, up to overnight. At the same time, place bowl of ice cream maker into the freezer -- the liquid in the bowl (what chills the ice cream) must freeze before ice cream can be made.

Once bowl is frozen, assemble machine and turn switch to on. Pour cream mixture into bowl and allow to mix for 25-30 minutes or until desired texture is reached.

You can freeze the mixture for longer if you want firmer ice cream.

To create affogatos, scoop some ice cream into a glass, and top with prepared coffee. Garnish with cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

Vanilla bean -- This is the first time I've ever actually used a REAL vanilla bean for flavoring. I'm not going to lie, they aren't cheap -- for this ONE in a jar, it was $7.49 at the grocery store -- but they are so worth the flavor.

In case you've never seen a vanilla bean pod cut open, here's what the inside, complete with itty-bitty seeds intact looks like.

1 comment:

pretty in ink said...

This looks like heaven in a glass!