I promised you some of this utterly delicious Roasted Pumpkin Five Spice Ice Cream a while back, so here it is. It's a distant memory for me though, because since then I've been to Japan and eaten truckfuls of ice cream. I've sampled Black Sesame Ice Cream in Miyajima, Matcha Ice Cream in Takayama and this amazing Yuba Ice Cream in Arashiyama. All in the interest of research, ya know?
And while we're on the subject of Japan, here are a few more snaps I took when I wasn't eating.
It was a wonderful adventure with my family. Thanks Japan, I loved every bite.
Roasted Pumpkin Five Spice Ice Cream
adapted from here
Makes about 1 litre
600g pumpkin, seeds removed and cut into thin wedges
2 cups full-cream milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornflour
45g cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup honey
1 1/4 cups thickened cream
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Put the pumpkin wedges skin-side-down onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 45 - 50 minutes, until the flesh is soft when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, scrape the flesh from the skin (discard the skin) and place the flesh into a blender. Blitz until smooth. Measure out 3/4 cup of the puree for the ice cream. You can freeze any leftover puree for another use.
Make a cornflour slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornflour. Set aisde.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and salt. Add the pumpkin puree and honey and beat until smooth. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and five spice powder to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cornflour slurry.
Put the pan back on the heat and bring it back to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside.
Pour the hot milk mixture gradually unto the pumpkin mixture and mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl or jug, cover the surface of the mixture with cling film to prevent a skin from forming, and chill in the refrigerator until completely cold.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturers instructions. Eat straight from the machine when it's thick and creamy, or store it in a container in the freezer. Take it out of the freezer for a good 20 minutes before serving so that it's that perfect "scoopable" consistency.