Pumpkin Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

This ice cream has just a hint of spice without verging too far into pumpkin pie territory. It's worth making with homemade pumpkin purée, which has a bright, sweet flavor, but canned pumpkin will still taste great.

The brownie chunks need to stay soft even when frozen. To achieve that I don't think you can do better than Smitten Kitchen's cocoa brownies. They're dead simple to make and are dark enough to stay flavorful under deep chill. This recipe calls for about 2/3 of the batch, leaving you with some to snack on while the ice cream churns. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into small (1/2-inch) chunks, and trim away the crisp edges.

Brownies not your bag? Try some roughly chopped toasted pecans instead.

Pumpkin Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

About This Recipe

Yield:8 to 10 (makes 1 generous quart)
Active time:1 hour
Total time:2 hours, plus an overnight chill
Special equipment:ice cream maker
This recipe appears in: A Scoop for Every Plate: Three Takes on Pumpkin Ice Cream Scooped: Pumpkin Brownie Chunk Ice Cream


  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup raw (turbinado) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 2 cups small brownie chunks, chilled in freezer (see head note)


  1. 1

    In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices into a paste. Slowly whisk in cream and milk until smooth.

  2. 2

    Set on medium-low heat and, whisking frequently, cook until custard thickly coats the back of a spoon but a swiped finger leaves a clean line. Stir in bourbon, strain into an airtight container, and chill overnight.

  3. 3

    The next day, churn according to manufacturer's instructions. When finished, remove churning puddle and quickly stir in brownie chunks with a wide spatula. Transfer to freezer and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until firm.


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