This week we’ll continue with our flavors for the holidays, but this time with some influence from our neighbors to the South. Recently we honed in on a technique we’ve been working on for making our winter squash flavors that has produced favorable results on a consistant basis. This makes us very happy, and in turn will make you very happy when you taste these delicious creams. And since everyone has pumpkin pie on the brain this time of year, I decided why not take our squash victory for a ride in the form of pumpkin for this week’s flavor? In the process of thinking about flavor profiles, I couldn’t stop thinking about a caramel of some sort, and then it hit me…Cajeta! – AKA Mexican style goat milk caramel. In my mind, pumpkin and cajeta have comparable flavor profiles, but my thought was that the cajeta would compliment with it’s subtle cinnamon spice and contrast with the slightly more acidic properties from the goat milk. Done. And for a bit of texture I decided to double-up on the pumpkin and use it’s seeds; but not just plain seeds; pralined pepitas with chiotple powder for an extra kick. Which brings us to this week’s flavor: Pumpkin with Chipotle Praline Pepitas and Cajeta. Let’s get started…
We started with the classic pie pumkin squash grown right here in Minnesota. The pumpkin is cubed, tossed with a little butter, and placed in a oven to slow roast. We always talk about reducing water content in our ice cream, and that is a very important concept when we are actually flavoring our ice cream base with something natural, as we are here. This technique of slowly roasting the cubed pumpkins not only reduces the water content, but also allows some of the pumpkins starches to convert to sugar, thus the caramelization around the edges. The roasted pumkin is pureed in a blender with a little cream and added into our brown sugar ice cream base. The base is cooked, and then strained through a fine mesh strainer. The starches that remain in the roasted pumpkin, make for an ultra smooth ice cream. The base is chilled and ready for a churn.
Next we spread out raw pepitas on a sheet pan and roast them in oven. The roasted pepitas are cooled and placed on a parchment lined sheet pan.
For the praline, we bring granulated sugar and a small amount of water to a boil. The mixture is boiled down until the sugar caramelizes and an amber color is achieved. The chipotle powder is added and the caramelized liquid is poured over the roasted pepitas, salted and cooled. The praline is then broken up into pieces and added into the ice cream at the end of the churn.
Cajeta time! For this run, we used Poplar Hill goat milk from Scandia, MN. The milk is reduced slowly with sugar and a cinnamon stick for a few hours, while it transforms from a pale yellow to a rich golden brown. The caramel is strained through a fine mesh strainer and cooled. The cajeta is layered into the pints during packaging.
An ultra smooth pumpkin ice cream with crunchy spiced candied pumpkin seeds, all layered with a goat milk caramel! Bringing you holiday flavor with a Mexican twist.
Want to try it? You can win one of the only two pints in the world, filled with this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. 2 lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 12/6/13 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally and give us feedback. Pints must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!