Pumpkin Ice Dream
1/3 cup cool or cold filtered water
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
or 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder
(not the flakes)
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar or 1/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) maple syrup; add 2 tablespoons as needed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder
or 1/2 - 1 teaspoons clear stevia extract liquid (start low, add more if needed)
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
or 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon finely ground, unrefined sea salt
2 1/4 cups unsweetened, preservative-free coconut milk (not lite), thoroughly blended
1 cup frozen or canned pumpkin or 1 cup baked or simmered mashed winter squash
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
or 2 teaspoons alcohol-free vanilla flavoring
2 tablespoons coconut rum or dark rum, optional
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dried orange zest
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Add 1/3 cup water to a small saucepan. Slowly sprinkle with gelatin or agar agar powder. Let stand for 2 to 5 minutes to soften. Warm over medium-low heat, without stirring, until gelatin or agar agar dissolves. Scrape the mixture into a blender, Vita-Mix, or food processor. Cover and process until smooth.
Add honey, stevia, spice, and sea salt. Blend. Add coconut milk, pumpkin or squash, and vanilla. Blend. For a sweeter taste, add an additional 1/8 teaspoon stevia and/or 1 tablespoon honey. Blend, taste, and repeat if needed.
Scrape the chilled custard into the canister of your ice cream maker. Add the optional rum. Churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Serve immediately or spoon into several 8- to 16-ounce containers. Cover and freeze for 3 or more hours for a firmer texture.
Soften solidly frozen dessert in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
For best results, use sweet winter squash. Frozen squash or canned pumpkin (which often contains some squash) will work well, too. Read labels to ensure that you're buying solid-pack pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie mix; it should be free of added sweeteners and spices.
For a holiday meal, serve Pumpkin Ice Dream over poached pears.
This flavor pairs well with Avocado, Vanilla, Ginger, Cocoa, or Dark Chocolate Ice Dream, or it can be served with a drizzle of Chocolate, Fudge, or Caramel Sauce.