Butternut squash ice cream, Philadelphia style

By • October 27, 2010 19 Comments

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Author Notes: Mark Bittman’s pumpkin ice cream formula in How to Cook Everything was my guide for this recipe. A cornstarch pudding base makes it “Philadelphia style.” I replaced part of the half and half with sweetened condensed milk, a trick from COLD BREW COFFEE ICE CREAM (dymnyno’s fabulous Food52 recipe.) This squash ice cream froze up quickly to a rich, creamy consistency. Experiment with the spices and add-ins, such as nuts, rum-soaked raisins, or gingersnap bits. AppleAnnie

Serves 6-8

  • 1 cup roasted butternut squash puree
  • 1 tablespoon olive or grape seed oil
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white or raw granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (I use Santini’s organic, available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (preferably grated fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold coffee (optional, for cornstarch slurry)
  • 2-4 tablespoons Amaretto, calvados, brandy, rum, bourbon or spirits of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional (use if making puree well in advance))
  1. To make the puree, roast a small to medium-sized butternut squash (cut in half with seeds removed) until soft, about one hour in a 375 degree oven, with a little water in the bottom of the roasting pan, and a splash of olive or grape seed oil drizzled over the squash flesh.
  2. When cool, remove skin, puree in food processor adding 1-2 tablespoons half and half, or one of the suggested “spirits” to pulverize as needed.
  3. Take out 1 cup of puree for the ice cream. (If making ahead of time, put a cinnamon stick into the puree and refrigerate.)
  4. Stir two tablespoons of cornstarch into two tablespoons or cold coffee or half and half (or a combination of the two) and whisk to dissolve.
  5. Add the brown and white sugar to the cup of half and half in a sauce pan. Heat, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. When the pan is steaming, pour a little of the hot liquid into the cornstarch slurry and whisk quickly. Slowly add the slurry to the pan of steaming half and half, whisking steadily over low heat. When the mixture has thickened to the consistency of pudding, whisk in the squash puree, and cook a little bit longer, stirring to blend well.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and the sweetened condensed milk. Put the optional cinnamon stick back in the pudding and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  7. When ready to freeze, remove the cinnamon stick, stir in the vanilla, cup of heavy cream, and Amaretto or other liquor. Taste and add additional spices as desired. (But don’t taste too much or there will be less ice cream in the end! I speak from experience.)
  8. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

More Great Recipes: Vegetables|Desserts|Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts

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Comments (19) Questions (0)


almost 5 years ago cbear1984

You should definitely enter this in this week's contest!


almost 5 years ago AppleAnnie

Thank you, I did!! And guess what, a scoop of this added to a cup of coffee makes a great "Thanksgiving" latte, my answer to the famous pumpkin latte served elsewhere.


almost 5 years ago cheese1227

I could see this between ginger snaps!


almost 5 years ago Sagegreen



almost 5 years ago theyearinfood



almost 5 years ago Sagegreen



almost 5 years ago Sagegreen

Gorgeous photo, too!


almost 5 years ago dymnyno

Sounds delicious!! Perfect for a fall dessert!


almost 5 years ago friendlyoaks

This convinces me that I have to start making ice cream. I like the spicing in the recipe, but I will also want to try the alternative with cayenne and cardamom. Thanks for the inspiration.


almost 5 years ago lapadia

This sounds great, I especially like that it is Philadelphia style!


almost 5 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Excellent!! I was hoping so much that someone would do a butternut squash ice cream! I'm making this really soon. I think this would taste sooooo good! I could see adding a little cardamom too. It can go so well with cinnamon and nutmeg.


almost 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I want some of this. Now. ;o)


almost 5 years ago JoanG

THis sound amazing. I LOVE pumpkin ice cream and this must be really luscious. Save some for me please!


almost 5 years ago gingerroot

YUM! This looks amazing!


almost 5 years ago TiggyBee

This looks outrageously good AppleAnnie!!


almost 5 years ago AppleAnnie

Thanks Dr. Babs, having read your intriguing flan recipe, I am wondering how coriander , cayenne, and cardamon would work in a less sweet version of this ice cream.


almost 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks--I was wondering the same thing!


almost 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.



almost 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.