Classic Butter Pecan Ice Cream is a decadent combination of caramel ice cream and pecan pieces toasted in browned butter.
This is about the time of the year when I am craving for sweltering heat, sweaty bangs, and maybe, a beach vacation. Especially when it’s a cold 24F degrees like it was this morning! I know it’s not a big deal for you Midwesterners and Canadians who are braving below zero degrees for months already, but for us wimpy New Yorkers, the cold really hits you when you have to be outdoors to get from point A to point B.
Anyway, you must think I am crazy, but I’m posting an ice cream recipe today. Because I am such a wimp, we blast the heat at our apartment so it feels warm and toasty enough to eat ice cream all winter long. And apparently, second time’s the charm?! We tested the ice cream maker without any luck the first time and to make sure it’s the recipe and not the attachment that went wrong, I tried it again with my trusty, all time favorite recipe. It turned out as smooth and creamy as can be!
I’ve got a throwback recipe from 2012 when I made it for the first time and successfully make it again and again. The first butter pecan ice cream I ever had was made by Haagen Dazs. My mom would get it all the time when I was growing up since it’s her favorite flavor, and I thought I knew what butter pecan tasted like. But…this recipe is truly the classic flavor done right — it puts HD to shame!
The brown sugar creates the perfect, deep caramel base for this ice cream. And make sure you don’t skip the part with toasting the pecans in butter (which is essentially browned butter!) — it’s the secret to making this ice cream rich, nutty, and decadent.
Here’s an updated version with a few adjustments and tips:
- I cut back on the amount of brown sugar and vanilla extract.
- A pinch of salt helps bring out the flavor of the browned butter!
- Make sure you add the toasted pecans AND the butter to the custard mixture.
- Instead of cooking the eggs in the saucepan directly with the light cream and brown sugar (it’s easily to get lumps if the cooking liquid is being heated too quickly), I changed it into a tempering method which makes things a bit easier.
Don’t you just wish summer is here already? On that note, stay warm and have a wonderful day!
- ½ cup pecan, chopped
- 1 ½ tbsp unsalted butter
- 1¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups light cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds removed, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- In a small skillet over low heat, saute pecans in butter until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring frequently. Let cool.
- Combine brown sugar and light cream in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat and gradually pour hot mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Return custard to saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Remove from heat and stir in cream, vanilla (seeds and pod, if using), toasted pecans, and salt.
- Chill mixture in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. Once cooled, remove and discard vanilla bean pod.
- Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.