Wednesday, October 22, 2014

22 Oct 14 (Wed - Deepavali) - Pumpkin Walnut Ice Cream (金瓜核桃雪糕)

Still in the midst of the Halloween fun mood and because I so love the Fall (Autumn) season hence wanted to make a dish or dessert using... what else but the pumpkin! I have tried making pumpkin soup (both sweet and savory), pumpkin paste and pumpkin mochi cake so what's next? I have long toyed with the idea of using pumpkin as an ingredient in ice cream. I searched the Internet about pumpkin ice cream but the results were usually those of custard base or using heavy cream or banana or adding a lot of spices such as cloves and nutmegs.

I just wanted a simple pumpkin ice cream recipe but... but... So in the end, I decided to adopt the mango ice cream recipe that I have and just swapped the mango puree with pumpkin puree. Went to NTUC Finest and saw a few types of pumpkins: the real Japanese pumpkin at $7/kg; the Japanese pumpkin from Australia at $5.50/kg; the blue pumpkin from Australia at $5.50/kg; the orange pumpkin from Indonesia at $2.50/kg and also the butternut squash at I can't remember the price. I think I spent at good 15 minutes deciding which type to get and how big a slice to get then finally settled on a slice of 300+ gram of Japanese pumpkin from Australia.

Since I wanted this recipe to be a success, I went online to search if I should boil or steam the pumpkin and I found out that it is better to use the steaming method so as to avoid letting the pumpkin absorb too much water. I went a step further to search on how to store leftover puree and found out that it can last a few weeks in the freezer. Sounds good!

While some of the Internet recipes included pecans as part of the ingredients or as topping, I thought maybe I can add crushed walnuts instead since I didn't have pecans. The result? A golden color ice cream with fairly strong pumpkin fragrant. Yum! To add on to the Halloween fun, attempted my very first dessert plating by drawing a spiderweb with a tiny spider.

Packed some to bring to office for my close group of food buddies to try. Wonder what their comments will be. Looking forward!

200g to 250g pumpkin slice
20g to 25g castor sugar
200ml whipping cream
80g icing sugar
some crushed walnuts

1.  Cut the pumpkin into small pieces and arrange them upright on a plate
2.  Steam the pumpkin pieces for about 10 minutes or till soften
3.  Remove the skin of the cooked pumpkin pieces and set aside
4.  Whisk whipping cream till foamy for about 3 mins
5.  Add icing sugar in three batches, whisk the mixture after every addition and set aside
6.  Measure 160g of pumpkin pieces and place them in a blender together with the castor sugar
7.  Blend till smooth, add to the whipping cream-icing sugar mixture and whisk till well combined
8.  Pour mixture into a container of your choice and put into the freezer
9.  Remove from freezer after 2 hours to churn* with a fork
10.  Repeat step (9) for another two times** before freezing it overnight

* Try to churn the mixture in a whisking manner to try to incorporate as much air into the mixture as possible

** Mix in the crushed walnuts on the second churning

Note #1: The leftover pumpkin piece can be drained, blitzed and stored in the freezer. Good for a few weeks.

Note #2: This recipe incorporated the making of the pumpkin puree because it is best to make the puree just before using it so that any excess water absorbed during the steaming can be drained off before blitzing.

---------------- Edited on 23 October 2014 ----------------

The comments for the ice cream were all very positive. TYY said that she can smell the pumpkin fragrant as the ice cream melts. Looks like the ice cream is a successful attempt!

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