Once you’ve tried this, you’ll understand why…
Pumpkin ice cream / gelato alla zucca
A big fan of the orange winter vegetable, Fidget first tried this fabulous ice cream at the Gelateria Soban of Alessandria (Italy). In fact he had a two-flavour cone: one of pumpkin ice cream and the other of parmesan – all with a drizzle of balsamic (sweet) reduction. Pumpkin and parmesan ice cream! Has Fidget finally lost the plot? No, it was delicious! Anyway, always up for a challenge, Fidget cheekily asked for the ingredients to reproduce it himself in the cartoon kitchen. A study of the ingredients (Soban kindly listed them, but not quantities) reveals that, strictly, Soban’s version is a sorbet rather than an ice cream (carob as a thickening agent, no eggs); that said, due to complications with procuring carob flour locally, Fidget opted for a traditional ice cream (custard) base.
Ingredients for the custard (adapted from Michel Roux Desserts, p126): 250ml full fat milk, 60g golden caster sugar, 3 egg yolks and 50ml extra thick double cream.
Fidget then added 200g of cooked fresh pumpkin, pureed.
Start by gently boiling the milk with two-thirds of the sugar. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until fluffy. When the milk comes to a boil, transfer it into the egg mixture and mix well (with an electric whisk ideally). Return the combined mixture to the pan and keep simmering, stirring with a wooden spoon until the custard coats the back of the spoon.
Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and add the cooked pumpkin together with the cream. Whisk well and cool. If you like a smooth texture you may want to put the custard through a sieve, but we prefer it left slightly rrruff. When cold, transfer to the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. No ice cream maker? No problem, simply put the custard in an airtight container in the freezer and churn every hour or so until set (you will need to do this three or four times).
Take out of the freezer 10–15min before serving to soften slightly. Serve with crushed amaretti biscuits sprinkled on top.
Less is more? Perhaps…
…maybe not pumpkin-sized – but we think that you, too, will want a very generous serving!