Sunday, September 22, 2013

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

You'd think the height of summer would be the time for delicious ice cream recipes, but apparently that's not entirely the case around here! Though, admittedly, it was much hotter the last few weeks in ole Los Angeles than the entirety of the previous summer months, so maybe it's not so backward after all.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream by

In any case, it was worth the wait. Because this butter pecan ice cream is pretty much crazmazing. That's crazy amazing, for those who don't know. I can make up words, it's okay. I gave myself permission.

Though I don't have an actual butter pecan ice cream experience to compare this homemade version to, as I will always gravitate toward a cookie dough or vanilla bean variety if I'm buying a tub or getting some at an ice cream place, I am assured this tastes just the same as one you'd get at some fancy schmancy place. To me, it tastes like heaven regardless of a lack of comparison. Like, probably the best ice cream I've made yet.

I swear, I'm not exaggerating. But also, I actually used half and half and whipping cream and didn't substitute milk for any of it, so that may have made a difference. You want creamy goodness, use the dang ingredients it calls for!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream by

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. If you want, you can buy raw pecans and bake them in your oven, then chop them up and mix with the butter. Or you can go the easy route like me and buy pre-toasted and chopped and just mix them up with the melted butter. So much less time, seriously. Set aside for now.
  2. Meanwhile, you want to separate your eggs and keep the yolks for this recipe. You can save the whites for another recipe or scramble them up for some scrambled egg whites. Or you can just throw them away, but that seems like a waste. In any case, whisk up your egg yolks and the brown sugar together until they're mixed together well. Keep these at the ready for now.
  3. Combine the half and half and the whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat this until it comes to a simmer, but don't let it boil.
  4. Lower the heat and add a few spoonfuls of this to your egg/sugar mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs don't cook. Then slowly pour this tempered egg mix into the saucepan. Whisk this mixture constantly while keeping it at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This should take about 4 minutes. Again, no boiling!
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  6. Cover the top of this mix with saran wrap and let cool completely in the fridge for about six hours, or overnight. Overnight is always best. If you're using the mixing bowl attachment for your mixer to make this, make sure that thing's also in the freezer overnight on the coldest setting! Important!
  7. Freeze ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions. When you have about a minute left, fold in your pecans.
  8. Serve immediately for soft serve style, or pack the ice cream into an airtight container and stick in the freezer until firm. I just bought one of these ice cream containers, and already love it!
  9. Scoop 'er up and omnomnom that stuff!
(Adapted from Peaches and Cake)

In photos: 

 Whisk up your egg yolks and brown sugar. Set aside for now.

 Combine your half and half and your whipping cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Not a boil, just a simmer!

Add a few spoonfuls of the milk to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. This is to temper the eggs so they don't cook. You don't want weird egg bits in your ice cream. After that, add it back to your milk mixture, and on medium-low, whisk constantly at a low simmer for about four minutes until it thickens.

You'll know it's good when it coats the back of your spoon.

See, you can run your finger down it, and the line stays there. It's ready!

Remove from heat and add in the vanilla. Now, cover that and stick in your fridge to cool completely for at least six hours. Best if overnight. I always stick a piece of saran wrap directly on the top of the liquid so it doesn't get a film on top.

When it's cooled, then you can put it in your ice cream maker. Follow the instructions on your particular maker and get it to churning. Mine took about 15-20 minutes to churn, and then it looked like this.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream by
Scrape it off of there and then mix in your prepared pecans. Alas, I forgot to take photos of the pecans!

Scoop that into your freezer safe container.

Mine filled up the "pint" size Zak Designs ice cream container, with a little bit left over.

This is even a little bit too full for that container, but that's okay, just eat some off the top before you put the lid on and stick it in the freezer! Problem solved!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream by
After you've had it in the freezer a while, it will set up like regular ice cream. You can then scoop to your heart's content! Or just eat it directly out of the container. You know I do that.

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