Sarah Austin / Sun Contributor

October 30, 2019

Clocktower Pumpkin: More Than a Prank

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In October of 1997, Cornell students woke up to find a pumpkin skewered on the top of the clocktower. No one knew how it got there, who put it there or why it was up there at all. For five months it remained there — no one came forward to claim responsibility, and the amazing pumpkin didn’t fall. Finally, in March of 1998, a ceremony for the lowering of the pumpkin was planned to take place. However, before it even began, the crane blew into the pumpkin and knocked it down.

Now, 22 years later, as an homage to this piece of Cornell lore, the Cornell Dairy Bar has brought back their seasonal fall flavor: Clocktower Pumpkin; a pumpkin-based ice cream with cinnamon and nutmeg seasoning. It’s like pumpkin pie without the crust. Available at the Dairy Bar, it’s the bright orange flavor; you can’t miss it.

As a professional ice cream scooper (read: Dairy Bar employee), I can attest to the deliciousness of Clocktower Pumpkin. Although tough to scoop for those of us behind the counter, once it reaches your spoon, all you notice is the smoothness of the ice cream. The creamy texture is the first thing you taste before it warms itself up with the nutmeg spices. If the fall season was an ice cream, it would be Clocktower Pumpkin.

Ice cream is so versatile — you can eat it with various toppings, in different cones, in a sundae or even by itself in a cup. Below are some of the best ways to try out the new Clocktower Pumpkin flavor:

In a cup

For those of you who are traditionalists, but want to expand beyond your original chocolate and vanilla, a kiddie scoop of this pumpkin ice cream in a cup is the classic way to go.

In a sugar cone

Both cups and cones cost the same at the Dairy Bar. If you want to upgrade your average everyday scoop, the addition of a sugar cone turns this single scoop into pumpkin pie ice cream, complete with the flavor of the crust.

With a topping

The next step would be a topping. I absolutely LOVE hot fudge. There’s no possible way to go wrong with hot fudge on anything, but especially pumpkin ice cream. The hot fudge compliments the cold, fall flavors and adds some warmth that we all need to prepare for the brutal Ithaca winters. If you’re feeling adventurous, add salted caramel sauce too. The saltiness balances out the sweetness on the hot fudge and creates a perfect marriage of flavors on top of an already perfect ice cream.

A small: One scoop of Clocktower Pumpkin, one of Black Raspberry

Now, you wouldn’t think that these two flavors would go together. Not only do they look pretty together, the tang of the summer-y fruit, coupled with the fall spices makes for an unexpected yet delicious pairing. And if that isn’t your cup of tea, you can always pair it with chocolate ice cream. Although chocolate is an anytime flavor, it’s especially perfect with the pumpkin to balance out the strong flavors in a more traditional way.

A root beer float

Most people will try a float with the classic vanilla or chocolate, but change it up a bit and order the Clocktower Pumpkin. The vanilla notes in the root beer completes the fall flavor profile of cinnamon and nutmeg in the ice cream.

White hot chocolate 

Now that it’s getting colder, we’re tending towards hot drinks like coffee, tea and hot chocolate instead of ice cream. But why not have both? Order a cup of white hot chocolate over at the deli counter and a scoop of Clocktower Pumpkin at the Dairy Bar. Put the ice cream in the hot chocolate and you’ve got yourself a winter ready float.

Although prelims are starting again and the weather is starting to get bleak and cold, take a study break and walk on over to the Dairy Bar in Stocking Hall. Get your head out of a book, and your body outside to watch the leaves change. The changing leaves are the perfect backdrop for you to enjoy Clocktower Pumpkin or any of the other amazing flavors the Dairy Bar has to offer. Stop in and try one of the suggestions above, or create your own and let us know how it turned out. Happy Fall!