The other day we had a department meeting and everyone was talking about pumpkin ice cream. We were having a major ice cream manufacturer come to our station to bring some holiday flavors for everyone to try. Pumpkin pie ice cream was at the top of everyone’s list. Then, someone mentioned pumpkin beer ice cream and how good that sounded (they weren’t serving that flavor), and I knew I needed to try it. I’ve been tooling around with Bon Appetit’s bourbon brown sugar ice cream recipe lately, and I was thinking if I replaced some of the ingredients, I could have an awesome pumpkin beer ice cream. So, naturally, off to the store I went.
I bought a couple of pumpkin beers to try, and some were okay, some were too sweet, others had hardly any pumpkin flavor at all, and, like Goldilocks, one was just right. It happened to be Traveler Beer’s Jack-O-Traveler. I have raved about their beer in my Watermelon Beer post, so I had a feeling I was going to love their Jack-O-Traveler, and I was right. It’s definitely pumpkin flavored, but not too much like you’re drinking pumpkin pie, which was the main problem I had with a couple of the others I tried. This ended up being perfect in the ice cream, giving it that hoppy flavor that is so delicious in the ice cream. If you’re feeling adventurous, I’d probably suggest making a float out of this ice cream with the beer you use in it – kind of a win-win situation.
Pumpkin Beer Ice Cream
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
6 egg yolks
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie)
1/2 cup pumpkin-flavored beer (I love Traveler Beer)
1 tsp vanilla
Heat the milk, heavy cream, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan until boiling. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl (while the milk mixture is heating up) Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until fully combined.
When the milk mixture has boiled, temper the egg yolk mixture by slowly whisking a little of the hot milk into the eggs, continuously whisking – do this slowly so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. I usually take a small spoonful and add and whisk until the mixture is warm enough for me to pour a small, steady stream and whisk it. Once the eggs are tempered, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over medium to medium high heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon – usually takes about 5-7 minutes.
Place in a large bowl and set in the fridge overnight or until fully chilled. Once the mixture is cooled completely, add the pumpkin, pumpkin beer, and vanilla and stir until fully combined. Place in the fridge for at least two hours, then freeze in an ice cream maker. After the mixture has been frozen, place in the freezer for an hour or two until it has firmed up a little or until your desired consistency.
Due to the beer, the ice cream will become pretty hard after about a week, so it’s best to enjoy it within 2-3 days.