Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

The formula for cheesecake is pretty simple.  Depending on the texture you seek, there are basic ratios of cream cheese, sometimes sour cream, sugar, vanilla or lemon and some eggs to lighten the density and set the cake.  Sometimes just a little bit of flour is added to give it a cakey texture.  The cheese can also be in the form of ricotta, farmer’s cheese, goat cheese or mascarpone, which all lend their own flavor and texture.  If you beat in too much air, the cheesecake will soufflé and sink.  A gentle and even oven temperature is crucial to avoid a dry and cracked cheesecake.

This is a seasonal Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream, a chance to get all the flavor of cheesecake without any of the fuss of making sure it’s not over-whipped or properly baked or cracked.  It's super easy to produce cheesecake in this form.  You just throw everything in a food processor and blend.  There are no eggs to worry about or a crust to shape.  Like most cheesecakes, it isn't overly sweet; just a touch of lemon juice brightens the flavor.  I used restraint when it came to the spices because I didn’t want to overwhelm the flavor of either the pumpkin or the tanginess of the cheese and sour cream, which can become muted after freezing. You can certainly adjust all these flavors to your own liking.  Just taste as you go.

I also folded in some chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies that I chopped into small bite-sized pieces to add some texture and mimic the sensation of a crust.  Use ginger snaps, graham crackers or your favorite cookie.  Or leave them out if you wish.

Here’s to the full flavor enjoyment of the pumpkin season!

Bench notes:
- Plan ahead so you can let the ice cream base chill at least overnight to allow the ingredients to co-mingle and ripen.  I actually sort of forgot about mine and after 3 days, the flavors were much improved and superb.
- Do have the cream cheese at room temperature so you don’t wind up with lots of lumps.
- When your ice cream is finished, put it into an airtight container and pack it down to avoid air pockets where ice crystals can form.  Pressing a piece of plastic into the surface also helps keep ice from forming on the surface.  
- Homemade ice cream doesn’t have any commercial emulsifiers and because there are no eggs and not a lot of sugar in this recipe, the ice cream freezes up fairly hard.  Let it sit at room temperature for several minutes to soften before serving.
- Also try the plain Cheesecake Ice Cream and garnish however you wish.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream
Makes about a pint

8 oz cream cheese @ room temperature
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream                                                                
1/2 cup (4 oz) heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) solid-pack pumpkin                                                              
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) sugar                                                                
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
slight pinch cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) lemon juice
ginger cookies

Place the cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream and pumpkin in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.  Add the sugar, salt, spices, vanilla and lemon juice and process.  Taste and adjust for salt until you have a bright flavor.  Pour into an airtight container and chill overnight.

Chop or crumble a few ginger cookies into small bite-sized pieces. 

Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions.  Fold in the cookie pieces.  Pour into an airtight container.  Press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface, cover and place in the freezer.

To serve, let the ice cream sit for several minutes to soften before scooping.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your blog-- I've been following for years. I was wondering what kind of cream cheese you use for this recipe. Do added stabilizers help the texture of the ice cream? Thank you!!

pastry studio said...

Thank you so much for your support! I always try to make my pastries as widely accessible as possible so I tend to use ordinary ingredients for the most part. So this is just regular market Philadelphia cream cheese. The texture of the ice cream is pretty dense but once it comes to room temperature, it's soft and pretty creamy. Not sure how much/how little the stabilizers play a part but that's a great question.

Thanks agains for your kind comments. I appreciate them very much.


judy said...

I made this exactly as written and it was wonderful! The spices were just right and the texture was creamy and smooth. I really like ice cream that does not have egg yolks as I think the flavors are more clear. This recipe is a winner! It does freeze very hard, as you said, so take it out ahead of time, so you can scoop it. I served it with a home made pear pie and it was amazing. Thank you for the recipe!

pastry studio said...

Wow, that is lovely! You are so welcome and thanks very much for your feedback. So glad you enjoyed it.

And now I'm drooling over your homemade pear pie……..OMG.