What’s the weather like where you are?  Are you experiencing full-fledged fall yet?  We were, sort of, for a few days…but the weather has been dancing from chilly and cloudy to warm and sunny and back again.  I wear layers and find myself totally regretting the decision, or wear short sleeves only to realize I should have chosen a sweatshirt.  Our down comforter has been put on and taken off the bed at least three times already.  And all of this is exactly how I feel on that first day of unofficial fall when pumpkin spice lattes are available at coffee shops all over the country.  Though I normally make them at home with homemade pumpkin spice syrup, it’s customary to enjoy one sometime during that first week they are available.  I just can’t resist.  Though I love many flavors of iced coffee, pumpkin spice is not one of them.  I prefer a piping hot pumpkin spice latte…but in the lingering warmth just after Labor Day weekend, I end up feeling flushed and queasy drinking a hot beverage.

So, how do I solve this?  First, be smart, Annie.  Learn from your mistakes.  Drink pumpkin spice lattes on the crisp, cool days that truly deserve it.  And second, make pumpkin spice latte ice cream.  Because even though I’m not a big fan of the iced drink, I’m a major fan of its ice cream version.  Coffee ice cream is already waaay my favorite, so putting a pumpkin spice spin on it makes it perfectly seasonal for fall.  Use whatever variety of coffee beans you like best because they really impact the final flavor of the ice cream.  I’m sure many stores have something similar, but I’m obsessed with the caramel macchiato flavored beans from The Fresh Market.  Like, if you were in the store with me when I opened the bin, you would pretend you didn’t know me.  Courtney knows from firsthand experience.  Anyway, use good beans, make great ice cream.

  • Yield about 1 quart


2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar, divided
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger
Dash ground cloves
1 cup whole coffee beans
4 large egg yolks
1½ tbsp. espresso powder (optional)
1 cup pumpkin puree


  • 01

    In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, ½ cup of the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted and the mixture is warmed through.  Stir in the coffee beans.  Heat to just below a simmer, then remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.

  • 02

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup of sugar.  Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat.  Once the mixture is warmed through again, slowly pour a portion of the warm cream mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.  Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon (about 170˚-175˚ F).  Pour the custard through the mesh strainer into a storage container, pressing on the coffee beans to extract as much liquid and flavor as possible.  Stir in the espresso powder, if using, and mix until dissolved.  Stir in the pumpkin puree.  Let cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.

  • 03

    Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.