Preheat the fryer.
Season the pumpkin pieces with salt. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, egg, and soda water and mix well to make a smooth batter. Dip each piece of pumpkin in the batter, shaking off any excess. Carefully lay the slices in the hot oil. Fry in batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with some of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place a scoop of ice cream in the center of each serving bowl. Lay 3 pieces of the pumpkin next to the ice cream. Drizzle the entire bowl with the Caramel Sauce. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
CINNAMON ICE CREAM:
In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the half and half, sugar, and salt, over medium heat. Bring the cream to the boiling point and scald it. Remove from the heat.
Beat the egg yolks and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the half-and-half mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, to the beaten eggs, whisking in between each addition, until all is used. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Pour the filling into the ice cream machine and follow the manufacture’s instructions for churning time.
Yield: about 1/2 gallon
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and has the consistency of a thin syrup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream, return the saucepan to the high heat, and boil the sauce until it regains the consistency of a thick syrup, about 2 minutes.
Yield: about 3/4 cup