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Halloween Recipe: Pumpkin and Toasted Pepita Ice Cream Sandwiches

Halloween Recipe: Pumpkin & Toasted Pepita Ice Cream Sandwiches

What to do with your leftover Halloween pumpkins

Halloween is always a fun time for the young and young at heart. For those of us who carve jack-o’-lanterns out of pumpkins, we are always challenged with what to do with the pumpkin flesh and pumpkin seeds. When making the Halloween lanterns, the centre of a pumpkin is hollowed out and often thrown in the bin. But with a little forward planning and choosing the right pumpkin, you will be surprised at the interesting, simple and tasty dishes which you can prepare from the pumpkin flesh.

Soups, Risottos, dips and pies come instantly to mind but for a fun, sweet Halloween dessert, you can try the recipe below for Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches with Crunchy Toasted Pepitas from Le Cordon Bleu Australia.

As a trick to maximise your treat, ensure you use the best pumpkin variety available for the occasion. The traditional orange pumpkin is most commonly used for creating jack-o’-lanterns, but they do not have much flesh. The Jap (Japanese) pumpkin variety, however, are easy to carve into lanterns and are a great pumpkin to also transform into a tasty recipe. Also known as a Kent pumpkin, the flesh and seeds scooped out of the centre are wonderful to eat, particularly after the lantern has been used as the flesh takes on a nutty, charred smoky flavour.

Don’t let all that jack-o’-lantern pumpkin flesh go to waste. Spice up your Halloween and use up your leftover pumpkins with the festive recipe below!

Pumpkin & Toasted Pepita Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yields 10-12 8cm Ice Cream Sandwiches


Shortbread Biscuits
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 90g icing sugar
  • 50g (2) egg yolks
  • 270g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vanilla essence, to taste
Pumpkin Ice Cream
  • 375ml full cream milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 125ml thickened cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 250g roasted pumpkin
Spice Mixture
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
Assembly and Decoration
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 100g toasted pepitas, crushed
  • 50g poppy seeds


Shortbread Biscuits

Cream butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla together. Add flour to form a dough.

Roll the dough into cylinders approx. 80mm in diameter. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

To bake – Preheat the oven to 180°C. Unwrap the dough.

Cut the dough into 1-2cm slices and lay out on a parchment-lined baking tray or cookie sheet, allowing space in between each round slice. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling wire tray.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Peel the pumpkin and cut into 1cm small cubes. Drizzle with a little oil and spread them out over two baking trays.

Bake the pumpkin for approximately one hour, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. The oven times may vary so check on the pumpkin after 20 minutes and adjust the baking time accordingly. Remove pumpkin from oven and allow to cool.

For the Spice Mixture: Combine the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and mix well. Measure ½ to 1 tablespoon of spice mix depending on your personal taste and put the rest aside for another recipe.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla essence until pale and whitish in colour.

Boil the milk in a thick-bottomed saucepan, then whisk well into the eggs and sugar mixture.

Return the mixture to a clean saucepan, place on a low heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon.

Pass the mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl. Add the thickened cream, cooked pumpkin pieces and spice mixture. Blend together using an emersion stick blender or food processor until smooth.

Freeze using an ice cream machine. If you do not have an ice cream machine, line a 23cm loaf tin with plastic film and pour in the ice cream mixture. Place in the freezer to set.

Once the ice cream has set, leave in the freezer for approx. 4 hrs before serving.

Assembly and Decoration

Place the pepitas on a baking tray and toast in a moderate oven until the pepitas start to brown very slightly. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool. Crush the pepitas in a mortar and pestle and set aside.

Lay out the Shortbread Biscuits in pairs on a baking tray lined with baking paper. These will form the base and top of the ice cream sandwiches. Place a generous scoop of the Pumpkin Ice Cream on one of the biscuits, then a second biscuit on top. Press gently together to form a sandwich and to lightly encourage the Pumpkin Ice Cream to the edges of the biscuits.

Roll the sides of each ice cream sandwich in a mixture of crushed toasted pepitas and poppy seeds. Dust the tops with icing sugar and serve. If you would like to store to serve later, place in a plastic airtight container in the freezer.

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