HomeRecipesPumpkin Confit & Honey Masala Ice Cream by Pete Schmutte

Pumpkin Confit & Honey Masala Ice Cream by Pete Schmutte

(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

My favorite part about using pumpkin in desserts is eating warm roasted pumpkin from the oven. You really don’t need anything else. After a few iterations, this dish really came down to the play between the pumpkin confit and the ice cream, and some warm fall textures to keep it interesting.

Yield: 16 servings

Pumpkin Confit

  • 1 (2-lb) pumpkin
  • 450 g water
  • 500 g granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and guts. Remove the seeds and reserve the pumpkin skin and guts for pumpkin dust. Slice the pumpkin into pieces, about 2 ounces each, and set aside.
  2. In a pot large enough to accommodate all of the pumpkin in one layer, combine the water, sugar, zests and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and add the pumpkin. Simmer for 1 hour total, flipping the pumpkin every 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pumpkin from the syrup with a slotted spoon onto a sheet pan. Let pumpkin and syrup both cool to room temperature.
  4. Store the pumpkin in the cooled syrup.*

*For service, hold the pumpkin confit warm in syrup.

Pumpkin Dust

  1. Use the pumpkin skin and pumpkin guts that were saved from making the pumpkin confit. Place them in a dehydrator to dry out overnight. Once completely dry, grind them into a fine powder in a blender.

Masala Spice Blend

  • 10 g ground cinnamon
  • 5 g ground ginger
  • 2 g ground fennel seeds
  • ½ whole nutmeg
  • 3 black cardamom pods
  • 1 g ground coriander
  • 3 long peppers
  1. Combine all in a spice grinder and process until finely ground.

Honey Masala Ice Cream

  • 3 g ice cream stabilizer
  • 30 g granulated sugar
  • 920 g whole milk
  • 57 g milk powder
  • 6 g Masala Spice Blend (above)
  • 60 g glucose powder
  • 225 g honey
  • 98 g melted butter
  • 105 g egg yolks
  1. Combine the stabilizer with the sugar.
  2. Combine milk, milk powder, and Masala and begin to heat. At 25˚C, add glucose powder and honey. At 35˚C, add melted butter. At 40˚C, add egg yolks. At 45˚C, add stabilizer mixture. Cook to 85˚C for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Blend with immersion blender. Strain and chill in ice bath. Cover and allow to rest in cooler overnight.
  3. Process in batch freezer.

Cranberry Puree

  • 200 g whole cranberries
  • 105 g granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 50 g raspberry puree
  1. Combine cranberries, sugar and orange zest into a 2-qt saucepot. Cover the top and place over low heat. Heat enough to dissolve sugar and just begin to break down the cranberries.
  2. Transfer to a blender. Add the raspberry puree and blend until smooth. Chill.
  3. Transfer to a sauce bottle.

Clotted Cream 

  • 10 g gelatin sheets (silver)
  • 50 g water
  • 240 g clotted cream
  • 350 g heavy cream
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 5 g vanilla paste
  1. Bloom gelatin sheets in the water. Set aside.
  2. Place clotted cream in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine heavy cream, sugar and vanilla paste in a pot. Begin to warm over medium heat. Once it comes to a slight simmer, remove it from the heat, add the gelatin and whisk. Stream the heated cream into the clotted cream while whisking together. Pass through a chinois. Store in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. The next day, place into a blender and blend smooth. Transfer to a piping bag.

Speculoos Crumble

  • 375 g all-purpose flour
  • 12 g ground cinnamon
  • 5 g ground ginger
  • 75 g ground nutmeg
  • 75 g ground allspice
  • 75 g ground cloves
  • 5 g baking soda
  • 25 g baking powder
  • 4 g salt
  • 300 g unsalted butter
  • 135 g granulated sugar
  • 67 g brown sugar
  • 6 g vanilla extract
  1. Sift together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  2. Cream butter in mixer. Add granulated and brown sugar and cream until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Roll out on parchment and bake 325˚F for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely to room temperature.
  4. Grind to coarse crumbs in a food processor.


  • Fried sage leaves
  • Freeze-dried honey granules
  1. Dust the plate with Pumpkin Dust on one side. Pipe the clotted cream near the center of the plate. Top with a piece of the pumpkin confit. Next to the pumpkin, spoon a mound of the speculoos crumble. Top the crumbs with a quenelle of Honey Masala Ice Cream. Surround the pumpkin and ice cream with spots of cranberry puree. Finish the dish with a few spoons of freeze-dried honey and fried sage leaves.
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