Butter Pecan Ice Cream

One night after a particularly spicy dinner, Matt and I were craving something sweet and cold to calm our fiery mouths.  I suggested we make some ice cream.  We looked through a few books and chose a Caramel Ice Cream, which included making a caramel sauce from scratch.  Caramel sauce is simply sugar with a little bit of water put over heat in a skillet.  The heat melts and caramelizes the sugar and there you go!  It should be easy.  However, I learned an important lesson that night.  You cannot caramelize unrefined sugar.  I started buying organic, raw sugar awhile ago, and that’s all I had lying around to use.  For the most part, it’s a fine substitute its refined sibling.  However, you need refined white sugar to make a proper caramel sauce.  Unrefined sugar has a touch of molasses, as well as jagged edges on each crystal, and that makes it impossible to make caramel.  I knew it wasn’t working, but I forged ahead and combined the sugar mixture with the cream.  It still didn’t look right, but I went ahead and put it through the ice cream maker.  It wasn’t the right color, and I was feeling a little discouraged.  But, I tasted it and immediately said to Matt, “This tastes like butter pecan ice cream without the pecans!”  So, we added pecans.  And there we had an incredibly tasty butter pecan ice cream.  I replicated the recipe with a few tweaks a week later and it still worked beautifully.  It’s absolutely delicious.  I really wish all my kitchen mishaps were this successful!  Alas, they are not.  Someday, I will make a proper caramel ice cream.  But this one will do quite nicely in the meantime.  Enjoy!

4 tbs butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
Roughly 1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and brown sugar. Stir together until it’s all melted together, about 4 minutes. Add the salt and shut off the heat. Add in the milk and cream, turn the heat back on to medium-low, and scald the dairy (bring it almost to a boil, but don’t let it boil).
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and white sugar; beat well. Add 1/2 cup of the cream mixture to the egg mixture and whisk constantly. This will temper the yolks so they do not scramble. Now slowly, while whisking, pour the eggs into the saucepan with the cream mixture. Turn the heat to medium and cook, whisking frequently, for about 15 minutes, until the mixture turns almost to a custard consistency. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon. This is your ice cream base. Pour the base into a clean bowl and refrigerate until chilled. You can speed along this process with an ice bath. Give it a stir occasionally to avoid getting a film on top.
When it’s chilled, pour it into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Mine calls or 25 minutes. In the last five minutes of churning, add the pecans. When it’s done, put the ice cream into the freezer for at least 2 hours to firm up. This makes about a quart.

About jwall915

I love to cook and I love to travel! This blog explores my love of both. I share recipes and restaurant reviews, and I blog the trips I take.
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