October 18, 2015

Crunchy Candied Pumpkin and Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Ice Cream

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I see pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere, and most of the food blogs I visit are still gaga over the Starbucks™ Pumpkin Spice Latte. I haven't tried their seasonal drink [I've never set foot in a Starbucks™ in over 20 years.] but I have made the yummy treat a few times before. The recipe is here.

I love my homemade pumpkin spice coffee and thought, why not make it into ice cream with bits of crunchy candied pumpkin. The recipe for crunchy candied pumpkin uses slaked lime - calcium hydroxide - to make the candies crunchy instead of the usual soft nuggets. Slaked lime is is food safe and commonly used to make pickles crunchy. Look for it in the Thai or Vietnamese section of any Asian grocery store. The Latino aisle at the Asian stores also has it, labeled Cal.

Filipinos and other Asians use this powder or alum powder to make candied vegetables and fruits firm and crunchy, specially those that tend to be mushy when boiled, like squash and sweet potato.

Crunchy Candied Pumpkin
2 tablespoons slaked lime
6 cups water
2 cups sliced pumpkins, 1 x 1 x ½ inch thick
1 cup sugar or more if you want it sweeter
1½ cups water
  • Mix slaked lime and water in a quart Mason glass jar. Cover with paper towel and leave for 6 hours on the kitchen counter. The slaked lime will settle at the bottom.
  • Place sliced pumpkin in another glass jar. Pour the clear top portion of the water slaked lime mixture. Cover and leave for 6 hours.
  • Rinse pumpkin slices several times with tap water. Heat ¾ cup of the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and boil until sugar is dissolved. Add pumpkin and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Leave to cool for 1 hour. Transfer pumpkin into a plate. Add the rest of the sugar to the syrup and boil for 2 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Add the pumpkin and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the pumpkin slices once, until syrup has thickened slightly. Leave pumpkin in syrup overnight. Remove pumpkin and transfer on a wire rack or aluminum foil to dry, turning once or twice to dry both sides completely. Eat as is or chop to add to ice cream or pancake batter.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup mashed pumpkin
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice powder
¼ teaspoon ginger powder
½ cup sugar
½ cup chilled chopped crunchy candied pumpkin
  • Stir together ingredients except candied pumpkin Churn in ice cream maker adding pumpkin bits during the last 2 minutes. Transfer into an ice cream container and keep in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour to harden a little before serving. Top with extra pumpkin bits, if desired.


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