Over the last few years, I’ve been feverishly squawking that the fine folks at Blue Bell should get behind a pumpkin ice cream flavor for the holiday season. Their masterful way with the cold, creamy stuff would be well-suited to the cause, easily topping rivals with a pure pumpkin explosion that cheerily evokes this special time of year. Well, those magnificent bastards have finally heard my pleas, bringing forth “Spiced Pumpkin Pecan,” a marvelous concoction that strengthens a brand domination I’m simply in awe of.
I’ve come to learn pumpkin is a divisive flavor, which is understandable, as most candies and ice creams fashioned after the fruit’s dessert form accelerate the harsh nutmeg flavor. It’s a recipe desperation to find a household taste that almost never works to satisfaction. Dairy Queen’s Pumpkin Pie Blizzard is a terrific success story, but one that only sticks around for a single month every year -- a cruel act of separation. A sweet tooth version of “Kramer vs. Kramer.”
Blue Bell has an extensive record of perfect flavor aim, and the unbelievable streak remains unbroken with Spiced Pumpkin Pecan. Billed as a “delightful spiced pumpkin ice cream combined with tasty sugar-coated pecans and a rich cinnamon-honey-praline sauce,” the offering is a specialized triumph that I’m honestly shocked Blue Bell hasn’t attempted before (at least during my time with the brand).
It’s one thing to nail a perfect pumpkin ice cream flavor that respects the difficult mix of sweet and spicy, easing up on the nutmeg overkill, but the praline addition is a stroke of genius. Doubling the pie-inspired taste potential, the nuts generously enhance the flavor and texture of the offering, and this is coming from someone who finds nuts in sweets about as welcome as a biopsy. The sauce gives it a gooey hold, smoothing out the firm crunch of the sugared pecans.
Even while I openly desired it, I still had my reservations about the flavor before sampling. Pumpkin is a challenging taste to nail without encouraging nausea (similar to watermelon), yet Blue Bell found the precise combination of quality ingredients, once again proving their boundless ice cream-fu is mighty and proud.
This holiday season, screw the pie. Bust out some bowls and serve this. Make pie jealous.