pumpkin pancakes with spiced pumpkin ice cream
(From PANCAKES FROM MORNING TO MIDNIGHT, William Morrow & Co., 1997)

Makes about 16 pancakes and 1 quart of ice cream
The ice cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
Combine the cream, milk and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the spices until thick.
Gradually whisk the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes; do not let the custard boil. When you draw your finger across the back of the spoon, it should leave a track. Strain the custard into a large clean bowl. Add the pumpkin and vanilla extract and whisk to blend. Let cool to room temperature.
Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream is almost ready, add the dark rum and process until frozen.
Pack into a freezer container and freeze to firm and ripen. The ice cream should be ready to scoop in about two hours, but it will keep in the freezer for two weeks.

The pancakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, rum and vanilla to blend thoroughly. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with the whisk, stopping when everything is just combined. (Don't worry if the batter is a bit lumpy.) With a rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly fold in the pumpkin.

If necessary, lightly butter, oil or spray your griddle or skillet. Preheat over medium heat or, if using an electric griddle, set to 350o F. If you want to hold the pancakes until serving time, preheat your oven to 200o F.

Spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake, allowing space for spreading. When the undersides of the pancakes are golden and the tops are lightly speckled with bubbles that pop and stay open, flip the pancakes over with a wide spatula and bake until the other sides are light brown. (These are soft and puffy, so turn carefully.) Serve immediately, or keep the finished pancakes in the preheated oven while you make the rest of the batch.

Serve the pancakes piping hot with a scoop of ice cream melting into them.
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