Way back when, at the beginnings of this grand season called summer, I had told you that a delightful, no, delicious, no, dare I say, the best ice cream recipe was forthcoming. And here we are, in the midst of back to school sales, in the middle of conversations that have at least several mentions of how lovely a season fall is, in the middle of August, when I have finally decided to share this with you.
I wasn’t trying to keep it from you. Promise. I just didn’t know how to present it! I have never been a fan of butter pecan ice cream. Or, to better explain, I never really even thought about butter pecan ice cream. It wasn’t a part of my ice cream vocabulary. Plain vanilla ice cream with pecans mixed in didn’t excite me. But for some reason, when my most recent love of my life came through my door (my ice cream maker, obviously), all I wanted to make for the inaugural spin, was butter pecan. It didn’t make sense! It couldn’t be explained! And therefore, I held off on posting it. But here we are, approaching the end of the summer, and I simply cannot let the season slip by before letting you experiencing this. It would be wrong of me. Because this ice cream is that good.
Butter pecan ice cream is just a tease, I learned. It is hardly just vanilla ice cream with pecans. Or, it doesn’t have to be. Add some vanilla bean paste, brown some butter, and adjust salt levels to make the most satisfying, most complex, most delicious butter pecan ice cream you will ever have. You won’t need a reason for making it. You won’t need an explanation for loving it. You will simply become a butter pecan believer.
Butter Pecan Ice Cream (adapted from here)
You can tell, right? I don’t have many photos of this ice cream. Do I need to say it? It’s because we ate it so fast. We didn’t let it freeze. We ate it straight out of the machine and we couldn’t stop. So there we have it. But more importantly, if you want to make this and eat it just as fast, you can still make this even without an ice cream maker! Just click here for directions!
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 packed cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
In medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, vanilla, salt and milk until the sugars are dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
At least an hour before making ice cream, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Allow it to melt and then foam. Immediately add the chopped pecans and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until pecans are toasted, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Churn according to your ice cream maker’s directions, adding the pecans for the final 5 minutes of churning. Or look above to see how to make without an ice cream maker. Serve the soft ice cream, or transfer to a freezer-safe container to freeze completely.