Monday, November 8, 2010

White Chocolate Ice Cream with Spiced Pumpkin Swirl

And now… the recipe I’ve been dying to share!  As I’ve mentioned many many times, J’adore pumpkin.  (I’m trying to learn French.  J’adore = I love)  One item in particular I look forward to every year, is Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter.  I literally can’t get enough of this stuff.  If you’re familiar with apple butter or pear butter, then just imagine it with pumpkin.  If you’re not familiar with other fruit butters, first just get the word “butter” out of your head.  It’s not fattening!  In fact, it’s pretty low in calories, with just 40 calories per Tablespoon.  It was probably given that name because it’s spreadable like butter.  It’s just highly concentrated, think of applesauce cooked down until it’s thick & spreadable.  You can use apple, pear, or pumpkin butter for many purposes.  I’ve been known to spread it on toast, spread it on a sandwich, add it to oatmeal, use it as a waffle topping, but my favorite use for pumpkin butter is to mix it together with plain greek yogurt.  I swear, I always feel like I’m eating pumpkin cheesecake!

As soon as I got my hands on my first jar this season, I knew I wanted to do some kind of delicious dessert with it.  Different options ran through my mind, but I ended up deciding to make an ice cream with it.  Even after I knew I wanted to make ice cream, I didn’t know what flavor combo to do.  I’ve already paired Maple Ice Cream with Pumpkin Pie Fudge, which yielded outstanding results.  It didn’t take me long to realize that I already love the combo of white chocolate + pumpkin (Pumpkin White Chocolate Blondies, and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles), so a white chocolate ice cream with TJ’s Pumpkin Butter Swirled in it was!

This was my very first time swirling something into ice cream.  I think I did an okay swirling job, but I might need a bit more practice.  The way to do this is to make the ice cream base, churn it, and then when you transfer it to your container, dollop the pumpkin butter in and with a butter knife or thin spatula do a couple quick swirls.  You obviously don’t want to do too much, or you’d lose the ripple.

Now, I’m sure you want to know how this tastes?  INCREDIBLE.  The white chocolate is just the perfect subtle sweetness, and doesn’t overshadow the pumpkin flavor.  The Trader Joe’s brand pumpkin butter is perfectly spiced, and I think the smooth flavor of the white chocolate ice cream brings out the cinnamon & other spices in the pumpkin butter.  Plus it was really interesting to try a pumpkin dessert where pumpkin is the accent flavor, and not the main focus.  This would be the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving dessert table, or just be greedy and make it to eat all by yourself!

**If you’re worried about not having a Trader Joe’s nearby, don’t worry, you can probably still find pumpkin butter in various stores.  I’ve seen it at Williams Sonoma & World Market.  Or, try making it yourself, like Maris of In Good Taste did!  I’ve made pear butter once in the slow cooker, and it was incredibly easy & delicious.**


White Chocolate Ice Cream with Spiced Pumpkin Swirl

white chocolate ice cream recipe adapted from David Lebovitz, via Joelen's Culinary Adventures


2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
2 cups heavy cream (500 ml, total)
8 ounces (230 g) white chocolate, finely chopped
5 large egg yolks

1/2 - 2/3 cup pumpkin butter (amount various depending on your tastes, add as much or as little as you'd like!)


Put the chocolate pieces in a large bowl and and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer over the white chocolate. Stir until white chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator overnight for flavors to meld.

Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. After the ice cream has churned, alternately place the ice cream and a couple tablespoons of the pumpkin butter into your freezer container, carefully swirl a few times with a butter knife or thin spatula. Freeze overnight or at least 3-4 hours before enjoying.

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