Yes, You Can (And Should) Still Eat Ice Cream in the Fall

Although we definitely eat it year round, ice cream is typically associated with summer. But, let us assure you that there’s just as much cold, creamy deliciousness to be had in the fall—with the season’s best flavors. Whether you’re looking for a Thanksgiving dessert (sure, we’re planning ahead), a boozy wine-based sweet treat, or just feel like putting your pear and apple hauls to good use (there’s only so much applesauce to be made), these seasonal ice creams will bring the sweet treat well into winter.

Mulled Wine Granita

Everyone loves the strong, aromatic flavors of mulled wine. Also, booze in a mug? Yes please. Now’s the time to enjoy this fruity, wine-laced, icy granita.

1 cup apple cider
1 cup full-bodied red wine
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise or green cardamom pods
3 cloves
1.5 tablespoons honey
zest and juice of one orange

Combine all ingredients and .5 cup water in a sauce pan or pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Then, remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Strain, then pour into a shallow container and stir every 30 minutes, scraping ice crystals off sides, until mixture is very frozen, 2–3 hours. Use a fork to scrape mixture into a granita, then cover with plastic and freeze overnight. When ready to serve, scrape into bowls.

Pumpkin delight

It’s definitely not fall without pumpkin pie, so we’re bringing you our go-to ice cream version—no ice cream machine needed! Our take on the Plated classic (no-churn) features all that good pumpkin flavor you know you need.

½ cup heavy cream
1 can condensed milk
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
dash of vanilla extract
1 aluminum tin
parchment paper

Trim parchment paper to match size of aluminum tin and set both aside. In a blender, combine pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract and blend until smooth. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk heavy cream until thickened and stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add condensed milk to pumpkin mixture, then gently whisk both into heavy cream. Pour ice cream base into tin and spread in an even layer. Place trimmed parchment on top of ice cream, pressing to adhere. Transfer tin to a flat surface in freezer. Freeze ice cream base until thick and custard-like, 45–60 minutes. When ice cream has reached desired consistency, scoop into bowls and serve.

Caramelized pear

We love the combination of delicate pears with a caramelized glaze, so we’re swirling this mixture into our fluffy vanilla ice cream. Be excited. Be very excited.

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
3 d’Anjou pears
2 tablespoons butter
.25 cup light brown sugar

Place a medium bowl inside a large bowl. Add water and ice to larger bowl, about 2/3 of the way up the sides. Set a strainer over medium bowl.In a medium high-sided pot, heat milk, heavy cream, all but 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla extract over medium-high heat. Allow mixture to come to a simmer, about 6 minutes.

While milk mixture simmers, separate eggs, reserving yolks and saving whites for use in another recipe (or discard). In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and remaining sugar. Once small bubbles form on the surface of the milk, remove from heat. Slowly pour warm milk mixture into bowl with egg yolks, whisking continuously. Pour egg and milk mixture back into pot from milk and cook over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir continuously in a figure 8 pattern to reach all sides of pot, until thickened and ice cream base coats the back of the spoon. Immediately remove from heat.

Pour ice cream base into prepared strainer atop ice bath. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooling. When ice cream is completely cool, transfer to a plastic container and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Meanwhile, prepare pears (see below). Place chilled base in ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.

While ice cream base chills, peel and core pears and cut into .25-inch cubes. Then, heat butter in a large pan over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add brown sugar and cook, stirring, until almost dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Add pear in a single layer, working in batches if needed, and cook without moving until golden on bottom, 3-4 minutes, then stir occasionally until golden all over and soft, 4-5 minutes more. Set aside to cool. When pears and ice cream are chilled, add caramelized pears to ice cream machine with base and churn together.

Cranberry sorbet

Cranberry sauce, cranberry juice, but what about cranberry sorbet? For a seasonal dessert that’s just a little lighter after a million courses of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, try a batch of this tangy-sweet sorbet!

1/2 cup sugar
12 ounces (340g) fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, thaw first)
1/2 cup orange juice
pinch of salt

In a medium pot, combine sugar, .5 cup water, cranberries, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a low boil on medium heat and cook until cranberries are soft, 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside, covered, for cranberries to cool.

Once cranberries have cooled, in a blender or food processor, combine cranberries and any liquid from pot with orange juice, and .25 cup water. Purée until smooth, then transfer to a container and place in freezer until completely chilled. Transfer chilled sorbet to an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


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