Butternut Squash Ice Cream
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)
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.
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.
Take out 1 cup of puree for the ice cream. (If making ahead of time, put a cinnamon stick into the puree and refrigerate.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.