Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream Dessert

Dad’s Secret (& Most Yummy) Pumpkin Ice Cream

After 32 years on this planet, my father finally revealed to me his secret pumpkin ice cream recipe. The original email is below in italics. I have to admit, there was a tinge of sadness as I read his recipe (or is it a confession?), but that emotion was quickly erased by total elation as I realized that this means I could have dad’s special pumpkin ice cream ALL DAY, ANY DAY. Also, I now know what I am bringing to Thanksgiving festivities. I’ll perpetuate the fantasy of a homemade, artisanal pumpkin ice cream. I’ll say it’s a secret family recipe that I labored over for days and days to get just right, and then reap in the compliments. I learned that from my dad.



Here is a quick recipe for “Gammonga’s home-made pumpkin ice cream”. I recall this wonderful seasonal dessert from Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at Gammonga and Pop’s house across the creek from our old house in Dallas. The ice cream always seemed so special and rare, and there was always lots of table-praise about how wonderful it was, and how smart Gammonga was to be able to make home-made ice-cream. And everyone always wondered how she did it?! Because no one ever actually saw her making it. Except me. I have a memory of being in Gammonga’s kitchen and her explaining the secret of how she made this “home-made” ice cream, when she probably thought I was too little to remember. Little did she know the steel-trap of my mind. Anyway, it is the perfect Impatient Foodie recipe because it is super-easy, very yummy, and gets lots of praise and “wow, how did you do this, you are incredibly talented!” My only regret in sharing it is now the secret is out. But I think the Impatient Foodie venue is the right way to go global on this, and give it the international fame it deserves. And, just because, here is a picture with YOU, Gammonga, Nonna, and your mom in Gammonga’s backyard. Love you.



Dad’s Secret (& Most Yummy) Pumpkin Ice Cream

- Serves 10-


½ GALLON HAAGEN-DAZS, or other high-quality vanilla ice cream (1.89 liter, or 4 of the normal-size H-D containers).
1 PUMPKIN. This is optional, because you can just use a bowl to serve the dessert. But the pumpkin makes for a nice serving dish, and reinforces the “home-made” fallacy. See picture below for an idea of pumpkin scale.




  1. You will need some space in the freezer for the pumpkin, so make room in your freezer.
  2. Clean the pumpkin out like you would a Halloween pumpkin: cut off the top, and clean the insides out. The seeds are fun to roast with salt and a little olive oil, while you make the rest of the ice-cream. If you don’t want a pumpkin as a serving dish, you can skip this step and it all becomes even easier.
  3. Place the pumpkin in the freezer so it starts getting cold.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix: the ice-cream, 1 ½ cans of pumpkin, and 2 Tablespoons nutmeg. Mix it around good until it is a uniform pumpkin color.
  5. Taste it  – add more pumpkin and/or nutmeg if you want.
  6. Take the pumpkin out of the freezer, and spoon the now semi-melted pumpkin ice-cream into the pumpkin
  7. Place the top on the pumpkin, and put in the freezer. It takes a while for it to get to a normal consistency. I like making this ice-cream the day before any event so you don’t worry about it being too soupy.
  8. Bring to the party and relish all the compliments/enjoy!

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