Butternut squash has a natural sweetness that works just as well in dessert as it does in dinner. Sometimes we even swap it for pumpkin in our Thanksgiving pies. This year we’re serving up our new favorite squash dessert: butternut squash ice cream with curry candied pecans. Enjoy this as a seasonal fall treat. If you’re feeling crazy, serve it with pumpkin pie for a double squash dessert.
Butternut Squash Ice Cream Recipe
Ice Cream Base
- 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 lb peeled butternut squash, medium diced
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups raw, unsalted pecan halves
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp honey
Fill a medium pot ¾ of the way up with water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the diced squash and cook 11 to 13 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of pureed squash and set aside to cool (you may have extra).
In the same pot, combine the heavy cream, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until just beginning to simmer.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Slowly add the heated cream mixture to the beaten eggs and sugar, whisking constantly. Once fully combined, transfer back to the pot and whisk in the cinnamon. Cook on medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Transfer to a clean bowl and whisk in the cooled squash puree and vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until chilled (up to overnight).
Meanwhile, roughly chop the pecans. Heat a large pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped pecans. Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant and the pecans are coated. Add the butter and honey. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and the pecans are coated. Transfer to a piece of parchment paper (or lightly greased plate) and immediately season with a pinch of salt. Set aside to cool completely.
Transfer the ice cream base to your ice cream maker and churn according to the machine’s instructions. During the last 10 seconds, add the candied pecans and churn until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm. Enjoy!