The formula for cheesecake is pretty simple. Depending on the texture you seek, there are basic ratios of cream cheese, sometimes sour cream, sugar, vanilla or lemon and some eggs to lighten the density and set the cake. Sometimes just a little bit of flour is added to give it a cakey texture. The cheese can also be in the form of ricotta, farmer’s cheese, goat cheese or mascarpone, which all lend their own flavor and texture. If you beat in too much air, the cheesecake will soufflé and sink. A gentle and even oven temperature is crucial to avoid a dry and cracked cheesecake.
This is a seasonal Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream, a chance to get all the flavor of cheesecake without any of the fuss of making sure it’s not over-whipped or properly baked or cracked. It's super easy to produce cheesecake in this form. You just throw everything in a food processor and blend. There are no eggs to worry about or a crust to shape. Like most cheesecakes, it isn't overly sweet; just a touch of lemon juice brightens the flavor. I used restraint when it came to the spices because I didn’t want to overwhelm the flavor of either the pumpkin or the tanginess of the cheese and sour cream, which can become muted after freezing. You can certainly adjust all these flavors to your own liking. Just taste as you go.
I also folded in some chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies that I chopped into small bite-sized pieces to add some texture and mimic the sensation of a crust. Use ginger snaps, graham crackers or your favorite cookie. Or leave them out if you wish.
Here’s to the full flavor enjoyment of the pumpkin season!
- Plan ahead so you can let the ice cream base chill at least overnight to allow the ingredients to co-mingle and ripen. I actually sort of forgot about mine and after 3 days. The flavors were much improved and superb.
- Do have the cream cheese at room temperature so you don’t wind up with lots of lumps.
- When your ice cream is finished, put it into an airtight container and pack it down to avoid air pockets where ice crystals can form. Pressing a piece of plastic into the surface also helps keep ice from forming on the surface.
- Homemade ice cream doesn’t have any commercial emulsifiers and because there are no eggs and not a lot of sugar in this recipe, the ice cream freezes up fairly hard. Let it sit at room temperature for several minutes to soften before serving.
- More pumpkin goodness: Pumpkin Pecan Madeleines, Pumpkin Pear & Pecan Streusel Cake, Pumpkin Pie Pecan Squares, Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
- Also try the plain Cheesecake Ice Cream and garnish however you wish.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream
Makes about a pint
8 oz cream cheese @ room temperature
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 cup (4 oz) heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) lemon juice