Pumpkin Spiced Ice Cream with Candied Butter Pecans

Submitted by Blogger of the Month Katie Johnstonbaugh

Ipumpkin ice cream final1 grew up in a large German family. Both of my grandparents had heavy thick German accents and frequently broke out in long strings of German sentences that I never understood. My Grandpa and uncles got together a few time a year to make homemade bratwurst and knockwurst. We ate kraut bierocks with homemade dough crust wrapped around browned hamburger, onions and cabbage filling that baked in the oven until golden, sauerkraut and delicious homemade German “Glace” dumplings mixed with bite-size boiled potato pieces, browned onion and bacon pieces and topped with toasted buttered bread crumbs on top. My cousins and I looked forward to when my aunts and grandma made Grebel, a pastry dough that was rolled out flat, cut into long rectangles, with tiny straight knife cuts down the center and their ends pulled through the holes then deep fried. When my aunts or grandma dumped them out of the hot oil and let them drain, us cousins were always right there, giddy with excitement waiting for the heavy dusting of powdered sugar and whoever got the very first piping hot pastry felt like the luckiest soul alive that day.

At Christmas time, my Grandpa treated all of us to Christmas dinner at Frankenmuth, a small city nearby who welcomed scads of visitors every year to see its year-round themed Christmas town, largest Christmas store in the world and to eat fried chicken at one of its two massive Bavarian-style restaurants that also served (and still serve) the chicken on giant platters along with all sorts of family-style side dishes. They also served sauerbraten, schnitzels, sauerkraut and sausage, which is probably what drew my Grandpa to begin with.

Even though we were all stuffed to the point of discomfort after piling our plates with buttered noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, I remember the excitement as a child, was getting the sparkling glass parfait dish at the end of the meal, that held our choice of ice cream and had cute little Bavarian children or sometimes animal plastic figures stuck on top.

There was a choice of orange and vanilla swirl, chocolate and vanilla swirl at any given visit but at Christmas time, they had special flavors like cinnamon or my all-time favorite flavor – pumpkin.


That is the inspiration for this Pumpkin Ice Cream with Candied Butter Pecans.

I can take one slow bite of it at a time, and as it melts and runs creamy and cool down the back of my throat, I close my eyes and remember time with my family.


For the Pumpkin Spiced Ice Cream:
1 c. canned pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. ground cinnamon
½ t. ground ginger
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
¾ c. brown sugar
2 c. whipping cream
1 cup milk
For the Candied Butter Pecans:
1 c. pecans, chopped
1/3 c. sugar
2 T. unsalted butter

For the Candied Butter Pecans:
In a heavy skillet over medium heat, combine pecans, sugar, and butter, stirring constantly for about 6 minutes or until sugar has melted and browned. Remove from heat; spread nuts onto wax or parchment paper. Once nuts have cooled, break into bite-size pieces and reserve.

For the Pumpkin Spiced Ice Cream:

Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy by hand or with a mixer.

Slowly whisk in the sugar a little at a time until completely blended.

Pour in milk, whipping cream and vanilla and whisk to blend.

Pour about 1 cup of the base (made above) into another bowl and add the pumpkin, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.

Stir until blended.

Return the remaining mixture back to the bowl and blend.

Transfer the mixture to your ice cream and freeze according to the directions. One minute before the ice cream is completely done, add in the candied butter pecans and allow to mix for one minute. Transfer to storage containers and freeze for at least 2-4 hours.

53105_432465522150_564812150_5187303_2392175_oBlogger of the month Katie Johnstonbaugh writes about food at her blog, Dishin & Dishes. Katie works full time in the Putnam City School District and is a wife, mother, grandmother and author. 

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  1. Susan says:

    I don’t know what sounds more wonderful, you’re memories or your recipes:-) Seriously, anything that makes ice cream an autumn dish is great in my book! Thank you for sharing your traditions.

    God Bless,

  2. Frankenmouth was our special go-to trip, too, Katie! What a surprise to see it here on this OK blog! Our family trips predated the ice cream options you mentioned – I think we just had vanilla with chocolate sauce or neopolitan which, with it’s stripe of pink, wasn’t an option for me. I hoped earnestly that mine would come out with a plastic monkey each time. We were back in Michigan for a short visit in June and drove up to Frankenmouth for lunch and a stroll around the (even bigger!) world-famous Bronner’s. The town looked absolutely beautiful! Thanks for this second trip down memory lane! (And the ice cream sounds delicious, too!)
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  3. B King says:

    I made this.
    Not in the sense of Cyanide & Happiness, I used this recipe. However, instructions unclear, and the white sugar ended up in my ice cream mix and I candied the pecans with the brown sugar. Once I realized my mistake, the ice cream needed the sugar brought up from the 1/3 cup intended for the pecans and used in the mix to the 3/4 cup called for. I ended up with Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream with Praline Pecans. It was nice.

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