No Churn Pumpkin Cookie Butter Ice Cream

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IT’S FINALLY FALL IN OHIO!!!!

And I’m just a little bit excited.

(Can you tell?)

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I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of fall since…well…last fall. And now that it’s finally here, I’m not wasting any time bringing the FULL ON FALL MADNESS in my household.

Boots are out, pumpkin spice is on deck, and I’m Pinning delicious, fatty, meat-and-potato-filled casseroles into the wee hours of the morning. It’s divine!

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As the CEB (Chief Executive Blogger) of a site that is primarily ice cream-focused (with the occasional donut or hot chocolate supplement), my obsession with fall seems a bit counterintuitive; after all, you’d think I’d be more of a summer person since that’s technically supposed to be prime ice cream season.

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But you know what, my friends? I’m choosing to defy seasonal blog logic and encourage us all to BREAK FREE from conventional ice cream limitations. I think Fall is the PERFECT time for ice cream, because you can tap into all these amazing comfort flavors like pecan, caramel, apple, etc. – the list goes on and on.

Summer might be over, but I’m just getting started!

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For the first post of fall, I wanted to revisit my new favorite simple ice cream technique: the No Churn. Even though my first no-churn ice cream, the No Churn Cannoli, was a huge hit in our house (and on the blog), I still had some hesitation (and suspicion) about ice creams that aren’t made in a proper ice cream maker. I needed further documentation of this approach – after all, I don’t want to actively promote a product that’s just..meh.

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As both a marketing person and a self-important food blogger (a pretty loathsome combination), I sometimes have these super intense conversations with myself about the strategic direction of my blog and what I should and shouldn’t do and how it can adversely affect the blog’s brand image.

Well, if I really want If the Spoon Fits to be a premium brand, should I really be making bastardized ice cream? Am I getting away from my core competency? What kind of message is this sending out to my followers?

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Then I remember that the blog is supposed to be a HOBBY. It’s supposed to be FUN.

And you know what? I’m going to do what I want! And if what I want is to show the people that ice cream is a year-long thing, I need to remove any obstacles to ice cream production and enjoyment.

And also? I just really wanted to make something pumpkin-y and fast that was minimal effort on a Sunday afternoon.

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On a more personal note, my husband and I are both finally done with grad school and it’s our very first fall together where he’s not getting home at 10pm and studying on the weekends. There’s nothing more I want to do this fall than just have fun and enjoy our favorite seasonAnd you guys, sometimes all the egg yolks and fancy flavors and stressful photoshoots just aren’t fun at all – fun to make, fun to photograph, or fun to eat.

Don’t get me wrong, I always end up enjoying the blogging process regardless of the outcome, but there’s something especially satisfying about cutting corners and having it turn out fabulously. Which is how I feel about this Pumpkin Cookie Butter Ice Cream.

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Aside from being easy, this ice cream is downright, honest-to-goodness delicious. Just like the No Churn Cannoli Ice Cream, this ice cream didn’t last more than a day or two in the freezer. As one of my favorite sayings goes, the proof is in the pudding! (Er…ice cream).

And in case you don’t believe me, my hard-to-please Senior Product Development Manager aka Faithful Taste Tester aka Husband had this to say upon his first bite:

“Wow. Oh man. Wow. This might be one of my favorites. Wow.”

(Please note multiple instances of the word Wow). 

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So there you have it.

And in case you’re wondering, we each had a bowl and a cone that night. Because that’s the way a low-stress, fabulous, and fun fall is supposed to be.

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I’m not much of a delegator, but you guys. Go. Make. This. Now!

What are you waiting for?!

Happy scooping!

No Churn Pumpkin Cookie Butter Ice Cream

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 24 hrs
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Yield: 1 (Heaping) Quart

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup cookie butter (I used Trader Joe’s version; you can also make your own)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Large pinch of salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups crushed speculoos cookies, or some type of spicy/ginger cookie (I used Biscoff)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with an electric hand mixer on high for two to three minutes until it becomes whipped cream.
  2. In another medium sized bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin, cookie butter, vanilla, and spices until well combined.
  3. Gently fold in the sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream, and gingerly stir together until just combined. Fold in the cookie pieces, saving a handful or two for the top.
  4. Move to a storage container if desired, then top with remaining cookies. Cover with plastic wrap, and store in the freezer overnight or for at least 4 hours. When ready to eat, let it rest on the counter for 10 or 15 minutes before eating so it gets nice and soft.
  5. Enjoy 🙂

Roasted Sweet Corn and Blueberry Ice Cream

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You guys.

I’ve been trying really hard.

Like, really really hard.

(I have!)

But I just can’t do this anymore…

I can’t keep faking it.

It’s over.

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(I’m talking about summer, of course).

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Summer and I, we’ve had a good run for the past few months. I’ve tried things that I’d never done before, survived a culinary mishap or two (or three or four), and rediscovered old friends that had long been forgotten.

I really did give it my best shot.

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As such, I wanted this post to be a final tribute to the season, a touching “thanks-for- everything, you’ve-been-a-great-friend, I’ll-see-you-next-year” type deal that really reflected on my personal growth and sent summer out with the fanfare it deserves.

But you guys! My heart’s just not in it.

I’m kind of …over it.

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Even though it’s still technically summer for about another week, I just couldn’t in good conscious write one more summer-themed post when all the leading indicators of autumn (i.e. pumpkins, cable knit sweaters, etc.) are infiltrating key outlets such as coffee shops, retailers, and oh, I don’t know…NATURE.

(I see you, little reddish-orange leaves in the backyard – I SEE YOU).

The signs are all there, my friends, and I can’t ignore them any longer.

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It was fun while it lasted, Summer. But I’m on to bigger and better (and more fall-ish) things.

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Although sweet corn is arguably a summer vegetable, it has always felt very harvest-y to me and thus quite fall-like. So I decided to have my cake and eat it too with what I’ll refer to as a Transitional Blog Post; it can be both a farewell to summer and a hello to fall.

(Hey. My ice cream blog, my rules!)

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Corn and I have a long and pleasant history, which may surprise some people, given my frequent public renouncements of both fruit and vegetables (even though, as you may know, things are on the up and up with fruit).

I can tolerate most vegetables (okay, some vegetables), especially when they’re roasted at high temps with copious amounts of salt. But, there are a few vegetables that I actually like; I even, daresay, love said vegetables. Sweet corn is at the top of that list.

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Corn is one vegetable that I’ve loved as far back as I can remember. I absolutely adore everything about it. I love the bright green exterior and the threads of corn “silk” that cascade from the top. I love slowly peeling back the husks to reveal the tiny tender kernels beneath, beaming like little golden nuggets in the sun. And as much as I love slathering a fresh-from-the-grill cob with gobs of butter and salt, one of my very favorite things about sweet corn is eating it raw, minus all the bells and whistles, in all of its natural glory. The simpler, the better!

I might be bias, but Ohio’s sweet corn is absolutely the best. In fact, there aren’t many things that remind me of home more than good ol’ corn on the cob.

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Corn ice cream is nothing new, but I’ve known that I wanted to make this flavor for a long time now, as a shout out to my beloved home state. To show my respects, I went back to my old school method (read: Ohio egg yolks) for this ice cream, because I wanted it to be decadent and fabulous with farm-y ingredients.

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Straight out of the oven, the roasted corn kernels were unbelievably sweet and juicy. When immersed into the ice cream base and churned, they adopted an extremely rich, almost buttery flavor.

But did it actually taste like corn, you ask?

Why, of course it did!

In fact, I was actually surprised at how flavorful this ice cream turned out; it had one of the most robust and distinct flavor profiles that has ever been created in my tiny kitchen.

(Note: if you want to seem like a real food blogger, use of the term “flavor profile” will help build your street cred).

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Truthfully, the addition of the blueberry swirl was really an afterthought here; I knew I wanted to use some sort of berry as a final shoutout to summer, and I suspected that this earthy variety might complement the buttery corn flavor in a really nice way. Turns out, they were the perfect thing to cut through the richness of the sweet corn base.

When I let my husband sample a bite from the machine, his reaction was “Wow. That’s…weird. But it’s a good weird.”

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So there you have it. Presenting my weird-in-a-good-way ice cream: it’s sweet, it’s simple it’s…corn-y.

(See what I did there?)

In the end, this is really more of a Welcome Fall blog post…but we don’t have to tell Summer that, do we?

Until next year, Summer! Happy scooping!

Roasted Sweet Corn and Blueberry Ice Cream

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 24 hrs
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Yield: Just under 1 Quart

Ingredients

  • 3 ears of sweet corn
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar (depending upon personal preference/sweetness of berries)
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the corn from the cobs (reserving cobs for later) and lay out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then roast in the preheated oven until corn becomes fragrant and some pieces begin to get a healthy tan (about ten minutes or so). Remove from oven.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks slightly until just broken up.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk, cream, and sugar until it just begins to steam. Add the roasted corn kernels and cobs, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes longer, being careful to not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 10 or 15 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes, remove the kernels and cobs from the milk mixture by running it through a strainer (don’t discard those kernels – they make a great snack!). Note: you don’t have to remove all of the kernels if you’d like some added texture in your ice cream; I was nervous that they would freeze too hard, so I chose not to keep them).
  6. Make your custard in the usual way: a quarter or so cup at a time, begin to ladle the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, and whisk vigorously until combined. Once all of the milk has been incorporated into the eggs, add back to the pan.
  7. Heat over medium heat until mixture thickens and becomes a custard, about 15 minutes or so. Strain through a fine sieve and pour into a storage container, gallon ziplock bag, or large bowl. If you’re fancy, you can submerge the mixture into an ice bath until cool, because that’s the “right” way to make ice cream (but I never do, let’s be honest). Store in fridge until thoroughly chilled (probably overnight).

Make the roasted blueberry compote:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay your blueberries on a glass baking dish (I used an 8 X 8); sprinkle with salt and sugar and roast in preheated oven until soft, fragrant, and bubbling, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool to room temperature, then mash up the berries with a fork or potato masher. Move to a glass mason jar or other container and store in the fridge until ready to use (side note: store the extras for up to a week to use on pancakes or waffles!)

Assemble:

  1. Freeze ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. While adding to your storage container, swirl in the blueberry compote liberally, or layer between layers of ice cream.
  3. Freeze overnight and enjoy 🙂