Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Recipe

Photograph: Max Falkowitz

This ice cream tastes like a better, more homemade version of a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte (minus the coffee, which is pretty incidental), thanks to a dose of vanilla bean, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and a wee nip of bourbon.

Note: For best results, grind nutmeg fresh on a microplane or nutmeg grater.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 12 hrs
Makes: 1 quart

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  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream and milk to a simmer. Stir in vanilla bean, cover, remove from heat, and let steep for 1 hour. Discard vanilla bean or wash and dry for another use.

  2. In a second saucepan whisk together sugar, egg yolks, pumpkin purée, and spices until very well combined. Slowly poor milk mixture into saucepan, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until a custard forms on the back of a spoon and finger swiped across it leaves a clean line.

  3. Pour custard through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight container, then stir in bourbon and salt to taste in 1/4 teaspoon increments (I used 3/4 teaspoons for a slightly salty kick) and chill overnight.

  4. The next day, churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to airtight container and chill in freezer for at least 4 to 5 hours before serving.

Special equipment

Ice cream maker

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