Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream with Brown Butter Crumbs

My housemates and I celebrated Thanksgiving last week!

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It was a very British thanksgiving with chicken instead of turkey, and we had brussels sprouts and yorkshire pudding. Don’t judge.

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We went all the way and made a special Snapchat geofilter for the event as well urgh.

We had some pie themed desserts, so along with this pumpkin pie ice cream there were also pecan pie cheesecake and apple pie layer cake. Yeah I gained about a kilo that week.

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I don’t think I actually like the flavour of pumpkin spice that much. But the combination with the slightly salty pie crumb made the whole thing a sweet, salty, spicy treat.

I got the recipe for the ice cream from here and the recipe for the pie crumb from Christina Tosi’s momofuku milk bar. I used brown butter instead of butter for the pie crumb though, just to add that extra bit of nutty, caramelised flavour.

Ingredients (makes about 700ml ice cream)

Pumpkin Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp dark rum (optional)

Pie Crust

  • 240g plain flour
  • 18g sugar
  • 3g salt
  • 115g butter, melted
  • 20g water


Pumpkin Ice Cream

  1. Beat the eggs and sugar together. Then mix with the milk and cream.
  2. Heat over medium heat until the mixture thinly coats the back of your spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  3. Take the mixture off the heat and allow to cool.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin with the cinnamon, vanilla, and rum.
  5. Mix the pumpkin puree with the custard.
  6. Chill the mixture overnight.
  7. Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine.

Brown Butter Pie Crust

  1. Brown the butter in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl and a heavy microwave-safe lid. I microwaved my butter for about 4 mins, gave the butter a quick swirl, and then microwaved it in 1 min intervals (swirling in between) until the butter was brown and there were some residues at the bottom of the bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt together.
  3. Add the brown butter and water until the mixture comes together.
  4. Spread the mixture over a lined baking tray and bake for 180°C for about 30-40 mins, breaking them up occasionally. Bake until golden brown but still slightly moist to the touch. The crumbs will dry and harden as they cool.
  5. Let crumbs cool and store in an airtight container in a freezer.
  6. Sprinkle on top of the ice cream to serve.


  • I didn’t like the texture of this ice cream as much as my previous ice cream attempts. I would probably attempt the proportions used here next time.
  • If you want to mix some of the crust into the ice cream, I would try mixing the larger crumbs (or the texture of the ice cream might turn sandy), and making sure the crumbs are frozen so they don’t get soggy.
  • Your ice cream will reduce faster if you use a pot with a large surface area. So for example I used my wok. Very asian.
  • If you’re microwaving your butter to make it brown butter, your butter’s going to sputter and make a lot of noise. Don’t panic and keep zen. The butter will be fine. Use a heavy lid though so your butter doesn’t splutter everywhere.
  • To be honest though I didn’t really taste much of a difference using brown butter or not so if you want to skip the brown butter step that’s fine.

3 thoughts on “Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream with Brown Butter Crumbs

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