Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

How's that for a close up photo? Does it have you wanting to lick your screen?
It should..... it's soooooo delicious.
Like....crazy delicious....
I wouldn't lie about something like that. You have to make this.
Well, you don't "have" to...but you really should.
I know what you are thinking - Ice cream in December??
Ice cream in December.
Do it. You won't regret it.

Ooooh...look at all that butter-pecan-y goodness!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup half & half
1 tsp Butterscotch Ripple Schnapps (optional)

In a small skillet, melt butter. Add pecans. Over medium/low heat stir and heat pecans until browned but not burned. (Don't rush this step by turning up the heat!) Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar and water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Stirring constantly, simmer gently for 2 minutes. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored, about 2 - 3 minutes.
Beating constantly, immediately pour hot brown sugar syrup in a very thin stream into beaten egg yolks. (Let it slowly and steadily run down the side of the bowl as you pour it in. If you do it too quickly then you will curdle your egg yolks!
Continue beating until cool and thick; about 5 - 8 minutes.
Slowly pour in the vanilla, whipping cream, half & half, and Butterscotch Ripple Schnapps (if using). Beat on low about 1 minute. Stir in cooled pecans.
Pour into ice cream canister. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Before the freezing begins!

Note - I put the pecans in a bowl and set them in the fridge to completely cool before adding to the cream mixture. You want everything to be cool before freezing it. If you need to - put the mixture in the fridge for a few hours so it is completely cool. If it is warm when you freeze it then you can get weird ice crystals forming in your ice cream.

I have to say my favorite thing about this ice cream is the difference between the sweetness of the ice cream and the saltiness of the buttered pecans. It is a really nice contrast in flavor and in texture.
You don't have to add the schnapps if you don't want to - I think the tiny bit of alcohol helps to prevent the ice cream from freezing really hard.
If it is too hard to scoop then just let it sit on the counter for 5 minutes and it should be good to go.

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