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Kabocha Vanilla Chai Ice Cream

By • September 13, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Kabocha Vanilla Chai Ice Cream by Courtney Pollock

WHO: Courtney Pollock is a new Food52 user -- this is her first recipe!
WHAT: A delicately spiced ice cream with Japanese kabocha squash, perfect for fall.
HOW: The milk is infused with chai flavors to add extra oomph to Jeni's classic base, and roasted, pureed kabocha squash adds body.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Like a more delicate pumpkin pie, this ice cream is perfect for the changing seasons.

Kabocha Vanilla Chai Ice Cream

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Cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and Darjeeling tea, along with the milk that they'll infuse and the earthy kabocha squash.

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Merrill halves the gorgeous squash in one fell swoop.

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With the seeds removed, it's into the oven for 40 minutes or so of roasting.

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Amanda whips out her beloved meat pounder to lightly crush the spices and ginger used in the chai milk base.

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There's something so satisfying about scraping every last bit from the inside of a vanilla bean, don't you think?

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You could stop right here and make some fanastic chai, but we have bigger ideas in mind for this milk.

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A half-hour or so of simmering and steeping later, the spiced milk is ready.`

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Meanwhile, the squash is fully cooked and ready to puree. A sturdy spoon should be enough to scoop out its insides.

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A food processor makes quick work of the squash's orange flesh -- no lumps, no mashing.

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You'll need just a cup of the smooth puree. (The rest would make a great side dish come dinner time.)

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As per Jeni's ice cream base, two tablespoons of the chai milk are whisked into corn starch.

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In another bowl, Merrill stirs together cream cheese, salt, maple syrup, and the kabocha puree while Amanda keeps her company.

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Moving on, together they add sugar, cream, and the rest of the chai milk base to a heavy saucepan.

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Just a bit of corn syrup keeps the ice cream base from crystallizing when it's time to freeze.

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Bring it all to a rolling boil -- and we mean rolling -- for a full four minutes.

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The cornstarch slurry is added off the heat, then the whole mix goes back on the stove to thicken, which takes just a minute or so.

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With no eggs to worry about tempering, it's time to whisk the hot cream into the kabocha mixture.

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It's always good to have an extra pair of hands in the kitchen...

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...Just ask Amanda and Merrill.

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When the base is completely cool -- don't worry, the ice bath makes quick work of this -- it's ready for a spin in the ice cream maker.

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The perfect fall dessert.

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