When we first got married, my DH and I had a disagreement about dessert. Specifically, we disagreed (rather vehemently on both sides, I might add) about whether or not dessert could or should be “healthy”.
His POV: Dessert is supposed to be bad for you. It doesn’t need to be healthy.
My POV: It’s still going into your body, so you might as well use the healthiest ingredients possible.
We still occasionally dicker on the topic, but mostly we’ve come to a comfortable compromise whereby I use healthy ingredients for dessert but don’t skimp on taste or quality. Or at least I try not to. Sometimes I’m successful, and sometimes… eh, not so much.
This was one of the successful times! I came up with this recipe after reading about Attune Foods’ Cooking Challenge for October, which was to create a sweet treat using one of a few specific items in their product line. As it happened, I had a box of Erewhon Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice in my pantry, and my wheels started turning from there.
I’d already made some chocolate crispy rice treats that the whole family loved, and I had used a similar mixture before as the crust of a frozen pie. Since I already knew that the theme on my blog for the month of October was “Pumpkins, Spice and Everything Nice”, it was a given already that the filling for the pie crust would be pumpkin-based. I tossed around a few ideas in my head: pumpkin custard, pumpkin pudding, traditional pumpkin filling, etc. None of them seemed quite right, and then it came to me: pumpkin ice cream! Since the crust was for a refrigerated/frozen pie anyway, it was the perfect fit. And then as I was making the pie itself, the chocolate ganache topping just suggested itself as a natural finish to the whole ensemble.
Move over, pumpkin pie. This Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie with Crispy Cocoa Crust and Chocolate Ganache is going to be the star of your Thanksgiving dessert table this year.
Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie with Crispy Cocoa Crust and Chocolate Ganache
- 3 cups Erewhon Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice cereal
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup butter or palm shortening
Ice Cream Filling:
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 cups milk or non-dairy milk substitute
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 TBSP raw honey, optional
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or non-dairy milk
- Pour the cereal into a large bowl. Melt the chocolate chips and butter or shortening in the microwave at low power in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until melted. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal, and stir until well coated. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a glass pie plate. Freeze at least 10 minutes, or until set.
Ice Cream Filling:
- Combine all ingredients except vanilla and honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir to combine. Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat and simmer until just slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and honey, if using. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold.
- Pour into ice cream machine and follow manufacturer’s directions.
Ganache (Make just before assembling):
- Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream or milk substitute just until boiling. Pour over chocolate and whisk until very smooth.
- Spread ice cream mixture into prepared crust, and freeze until set. Remove from freezer and allow to thaw for about 10 minutes or so; pour ganache over top, spreading to the edge or drizzling in a design, as desired. Serve immediately.
As you can see, this recipe is already gluten-free, and can easily be made dairy-free and even vegan. I actually made the dairy-free version myself, using palm shortening and sunflower milk to replace the dairy products. Soy or coconut milk would probably be better substitutes.
**If you’re not up for making the ice cream yourself, simply mix the pumpkin puree and spices into a pint of your favorite vanilla ice cream and spread into the pie crust.
This isn’t a super QUICK recipe, especially because you have to prepare the ice cream ahead of time. There’s some thinking ahead involved as far as putting the ice cream machine bowl in the freezer and prepping the ice cream mixture the day before assembly. Also, there’s the freezing time involved.
It is super EASY, though, and can be made even easier by using a ready-made container of ice cream.
It’s not the CHEAPest dessert I’ve ever made, but it’s not the most expensive either. Right now, pumpkins are in season, so they’re the cheapest they will ever be. The Erewhon cereal isn’t really cheap either, but you can find coupons for it occasionally to make it a better deal. Making the ice cream yourself is cheaper than buying it, which reduces the cost also.
A HEALTHY indulgence, that’s what I consider this kind of dessert. All the ingredients are the healthiest versions available, not to mention that the pumpkin in the ice cream is a super food chock full of nutrients and antioxidants. If you want to reduce the sugar and honey, you can by as much as half, although of course it won’t be quite as sweet.
All statements about Attune Foods, its products, or the Cooking Challenges Recipe Contest are my own. This post is part of- and made as a condition to- my entry in the Attune Foods Cooking Challenges Recipe Contest.
I’m linking up to Tasty Tuesday at NapTime Creations and the following:
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