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Pumpkin Ice Cream with Pecan Praline Sauce

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Pumpkin Ice Cream with Pecan Praline Sauce

This Pumpkin Ice Cream with Pecan Praline Sauce, adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe, is a cool treat that tastes like fall.

It’s fall and we want all the warm, cinnamon-spiced desserts. Also it’s still relatively hot, and we are not quite ready to rev up our ovens. What to do?

Make some Pumpkin Ice Cream with Pecan Praline Sauce, of course. What could be better? Super-creamy, custardy homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream takes a swim in toasty, caramel-like Pecan Praline Sauce. We’re in.

This Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from the great chef and author David Lebovitz. I found his recipe online at his website; you can be sure it’s fabulous because he literally wrote a book on the subject: The Perfect Scoop, which is all about making ice cream. David’s recipe is a little more involved than what I share here, as his has you strain the custard and cool it in a bowl set in an ice bath. Not rocket science, but for us, here, I figured making this yummy treat is enough, even if some might call it rustic home-cooking.

No bother, though. I’ll take rustic home-cooking anytime if it tastes as good as the Pumpkin Ice Cream with Pecan Praline Sauce. Thank you, David Lebovitz, for the happy inspiration!

For the Pumpkin Ice Cream:
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin pureé
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves

For the Pecan Praline Sauce:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans

In a large saucepan, combine the milk and cream and heat over medium-low, stirring, just until it is warm.

In another medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy. Slowly ladle in a little of the warm milk mixture at a time, whisking constantly, until you have added about half the warm milk. Scrape the egg-sugar-milk mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the warm milk. Stir constantly, over medium-low heat, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir and cook until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon, around 10 minutes. Pour the custard into a clean bowl and let it cool on the counter for 30 minutes.

When the custard has cooled, pour it, the pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves into a blender and puree. Pour the pureed pumpkin custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

To make the Pecan Praline Sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the sugar and continue stirring for about 3 minutes. Slowly stir in the cream, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Stir in the pecans, and allow the sauce to cool for at least 10 minutes. 

Serve the Pumpkin Ice Cream topped with a generous drizzle of Pecan Praline Sauce, with a sprinkle of toasted pecans on top. If you refrigerate any leftover sauce and it hardens, heat it briefly in the microwave to loosen it up.

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