Because it’s that’s time of year…!
I am not quite ready for it yet to be honest with you. I want to savor this in-between season a little bit more. I like waking up knowing that I can take my yoga mat outside and stretch out a few sun salutations while the morning air is still crisp, but that the day will inevitably heat up, and that I’ll fall asleep listening to the cicadas buzzing at night. It also makes me ridiculously happy to pull dinner directly from my garden; forever and ever experimenting with an endless supply of tomatoes and zucchini. I would like all of that in spades, please – and less of the rushing into pumpkin everything, with the holiday hype to follow. I love those things too – don’t get me wrong – just in due course, and when they feel right. I guess you could say that I am still in summer, “looking forward to fall” mode.
BUT, the reality is that baristas have been serving up Pumpkin Spice Lattes for over a week now, and with that I figured I may as well offer you this alternative in a “timely” fashion.
This dessert has the same flavors as the much-lauded (Or despised, I suppose depending on which camp you are in!) #PSL, in a different execution. To make the affogato, I used this recipe from the Williams-Sonoma blog as my guide for the ice cream, adding a touch more vanilla extract and cinnamon, because you can never have too much of either ingredient, in my opinion. While making the custard is a somewhat laborious process and does require churning in an ice cream maker, the end result – topped with hot espresso – is infinitely better than anything you have to wait in line for.
- For the Pumpkin Ice Cream:
- 1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin purée
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- (Optional) 1 tablespoon bourbon
- For the Affogato:
- 2 scoops pumpkin ice cream
- 3 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee
- To make the pumpkin ice cream:
- Combine the pumpkin purée and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ½ cup of the heavy cream, ¼ cup of the brown sugar, the egg yolks, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- Combine 1½ cups of the heavy cream with ½ cup of the brown sugar in a large saucepan, set over medium heat. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until bubbles start to form around the edge of the saucepan.
- Remove the cream mixture from the heat and gradually (I start with a couple of tablespoons full at a time.) whisk it into the mixing bowl with the cream, sugar, eggs and spices. Once fully incorporated, return all of it back to your saucepan. Cook over medium heat for approximately 6-8 minutes (This step takes me closer to 8 minutes working on an electric stove.), stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The custard is done once it begins to pull and coat the spoon. If you draw a line in it with your finger, there should be a clear (AKA, not runny) trail on the spoon.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve, into a clean bowl. Place the bowl inside of a larger bowl filled with cold water and ice, and allow to cool. Once cool, stir in the pumpkin and vanilla extract mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to overnight.
- Prepare the ice cream in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's instructions. If using the bourbon, add it in the last minute of churning. Place the ice cream in an airtight container and freeze for at least three hours, or until solid.
- To make the affogato:
- Place two scoops of ice cream in a small glass or bowl. Top with the espresso. Serve immediately.