90 degrees. Sunny. Sweltering hot. Pool time. Sun-kissed skin. Summer cocktails. Fresh fruit and vegetables. That’s what my weekend consisted of. And would I have the last weekend in August any other way? Nope. This summer has been absolutely glorious and I’ve loved almost every minute of it.
But there are a few things you should know about me. Fall is actually my favorite season. Pumpkin ANYTHING is my favorite food. I cannot wait for all this when fall actually arrives. But another thing you should know about me? I don’t like to rush things. It’s still August for crying out loud. Why are we wishing our summer away for cool weather and pumpkin lattes? It will come. It will come. You can absolutely count on it. And it will probably last way longer than we prefer. But for now? Let’s finish enjoying summer. After all, the first day of autumn isn’t until September 21.
So, what do you do when you are already thinking about pumpkins, but aren’t quite ready for summer to end yet? Grab a bunch of sweet potatoes. And make ice cream. I got the idea from a tweet from @Sweet_Taters. And I instantly knew I’d be making it at some point. If you’re automatically thinking sweet potatoes+ ice cream = weird, STOP! Sweet potatoes are kind of just a sweeter version of pumpkin… and they’re readily available all year round.
Sweet Potato Ice Cream:
- 2.5 C heavy cream
- 1 C whole milk
- 3/4 C dark brown sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 C sweet potato puree (you can make your own with 1.5 large sweet potatoes)
- 1/4 t ground nutmeg
- 3/4 t ground cinnamon
- 1/4 C toasted pecans (optional)
I decided to make my own sweet potato puree instead of buying the canned version. Trust me, it’s super simple, and I think, worth it! Simply heat your oven to 350 degrees. Clean sweet potatoes and pierce all over with a knife or fork.
Place on a foil-covered baking sheet.
Bake the potatoes for about 50-60 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork.
Let them cool completely, and then peel skin off. It should come off quite easily.
Then cut into chunks and put in a food processor. Puree until the potatoes are perfectly smooth. You may need to add 1 T of water for a smooth consistency.
Now you’re read to make the ice cream! Heat the cream, milk, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot.
In a small, heat-resistent bowl, lightly whisk the 5 egg yolks.
Slowly poor about half the milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking the whole time.
Then poor the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk, whisking the whole time.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly (should cover the back of your spoon), about 6-8 minutes. Don’t boil the mixture!
Strain the mixture into a heat-resistant bowl.
Whisk in the sweet potato puree and nutmeg and cinnamon.
Cover and refrigerate the mixture until it’s thoroughly chilled.
Then, use your ice cream machine to turn the creamy mixture into ice cream! For my Kitchenaid attachment, I took my frozen ice cream bowl out of the freezer, started running it (on the lowest setting( and quickly poured the mixture into it.
I let it run for about 25 minutes before I added in about 1/4 C toasted pecans. Then I let it run for 5 more minutes.
The I scooped the ice cream into a separate bowl, covered it, and put it in the freezer. It probably would have been good to go after about 2-3 hours in the freezer, but I went to bed and by the next morning, it was perfect. It was actually a bit too hard and I had to let it sit out for a while before scooping it.
I sprinkled some more cinnamon on top and added some more toasted pecans.
It was awesome! Talk about combining fall favorites with summer favorites. The sweet potato ice cream tasted incredibly similar to all the pumpkin ice cream I’ve ever had. Which has me thinking this could be a fabulous pumpkin replacement if we happen to have another canned pumpkin shortage this year– Which I hope to goodness we don’t! And sweet potato puree is so much easier (and less messy) to make than pumpkin puree.
This is the best ice cream I’ve made with the Kitchenaid ice cream maker yet and it kind of made me want to try a million more flavors right away. I honestly might not ever buy ice cream from the grocery store again (OK, maybe Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food fro-yo). Someone please direct me to where I can buy heavy cream in bulk, asap!
By the way, if you don’t have an ice cream maker, David Lebovitz writes a great guide on how you can still make amazing ice cream at home.
Of course, you get a lot of weird looks when you carry a HUGE bowl of ice cream out to your apartment building’s deck area at 10:30 on a Monday morning. Pshh whatever. If you have to pick a “weird” neighbor, wouldn’t you prefer it be someone who carries dishes of food throughout the building at all hours of the day than many of the other crazy things they could do? That’s what I thought.
I’m a big fan of this ice cream because it’s really not rushing fall along- It’s ice cream! And I eat sweet potatoes year-round. But it does put me in the mood for fall big-time. And already has me thinking about what I could do with it come Thanksgiving time. With a side of pumpkin or pecan pie, anyone?
And now I’m convinced- I’ll be using my ice cream maker all year round!
Why are you most looking forward to fall? Are you rushing it?