This is like an ice cream version of pumpkin pie, but lighter. No eggs are required, and you can use low-fat milk. The important thing to remember here is that if you use fresh pumpkin for the purée, it must be roasted until very soft in order for the purée to be extremely fine.
- 1 quart low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup unrefined brown (turbinado) sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/4 cups very finely blended pumpkin purée, canned or made from 1 1/4 pounds fresh (see below)
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of ground cloves (less than 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Combine the milk, sugar and honey in a large saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to a bowl, and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Allow to cool, then chill in the refrigerator. Alternatively, set the bowl inside a bowl of ice water to chill quickly.
2. Place a bowl or a container in your freezer. Freeze the pumpkin gelato mixture in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape into the chilled bowl, and freeze for at least two hours before serving. If making this dish ahead, allow to soften for 15 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.
To roast the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place the pumpkin pieces on the baking sheet, drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive or canola oil on top, cover tightly with foil and place in the oven. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until thoroughly tender. Remove from the heat, and transfer to a strainer or colander set over a bowl or in the sink. Allow to cool and drain. Peel the pieces, and purée in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
Yield: About five to six cups, serving 10.
Advance preparation: This will keep for a couple of weeks in the freezer.
Nutritional information per serving: 117 calories; 1 gram fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 24 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 49 milligrams sodium; 4 grams protein