Pumpkin Baked Alaska with Spiked Eggnog Center

Recipe courtesy Zac Young
TOTAL TIME: 18 hr
Prep: 1 hr 30 min
Inactive Prep: 16 hr
Cook: 30 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Difficult

ingredients

ICE CREAM BASE:
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
    PUMPKIN ICE CREAM:
    • 1 cup pure pumpkin, such as Libby's
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
      SPIKED EGGNOG ICE CREAM:
      • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
      • 1 ounce bourbon, such as Maker's Mark
        GINGERBREAD CAKE:
        • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
        • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
        • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
        • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
        • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
        • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
        • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
        • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
        • 2 large eggs
        • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
        • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
          MERINGUE:
          • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
          • 8 large egg whites
          • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
          • Pinch salt
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          Directions

          1/2 cup bourbon, for serving

          For the ice cream base: In a large saucepan, bring the half-and-half and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil.

          Whisk the yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Pour some of the hot cream into the yolks to gently heat. Add the yolks to the half-and-half and cook gently over medium heat until the mixture reaches 120 degrees F, 2 to 3 minutes. Divide in half.

          For the pumpkin ice cream: Whisk together the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add 2 cups ice cream base. Puree with a hand blender. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight, or at least a few hours to "ripen."

          For the eggnog ice cream: Blend 2 cups ice cream base, nutmeg and bourbon with a hand blender. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight, or at least a few hours to "ripen."

          Churn the pumpkin ice cream first and deposit into six 4-ounce half sphere flexi molds (or line 6 ramekins with plastic wrap).

          Churn the eggnog ice cream. Hollow out the center of the pumpkin ice cream with a melon baller or warm spoon. Pour the semi-frozen eggnog ice cream into the cavity and let firm overnight.

          For the gingerbread cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

          Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.

          Cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time.

          Mix the ginger with the buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients in three installments to the creamed butter, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Spread evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and bake until the cake bounces back when lightly pressed, about 15 minutes. Cool.

          Cut the cooled cake into rounds that fit the bottom of the flexi molds or ramekins. Place on top of the ice cream and return the molds to the freezer until ready to serve.

          For the meringue: Gently heat the sugar, egg whites, vanilla seeds and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer over a water bath until it is warm and the sugar dissolves. Beat with the whisk attachment on high until cool. Transfer to a piping bag.

          Unmold the ice creams and cover with meringue. (Alternatively, you can spread the meringue with an offset spatula.) Brown with a kitchen torch.

          To serve, heat the bourbon in the microwave in a heatproof glass. Light on fire in the glass and pour over the baked Alaska. Serve immediately.

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