Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Brown Butter Toasted Pecan Ice Cream

Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures of this one.... mainly because I was too busy stuffing my face with it.  It's really that amazing.  I was searching through my FAVORITE ice cream cookbook, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, wanting to find new recipes (now, this was actually fall that this happened, but same dif), and I came across this one, but I ended up making another one from the cookbook, a Maple Ice Cream one.  And then this fall rolls around.... and I''m craving fall ice cream again.  I remembered that I had seen another fall-sounding ice cream in the cookbook, so I looked again for it.  And there the recipe stared up at me, begging me to make it.  The thought of rich and creamy ice cream, stuffed with toasted pecans, and with a hint of browned butter just made my mouth water.  So, I rushed into the kitchen, and read the whole recipe, to make sure we had everything.  Aaaaand then I noticed a little sidebar comment.  Saying what to serve it with.

And I was dead gone.  


It said to serve it with homemade Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans.  

And even though I was already in the middle of making regular ice cream and the new one, I had to make the extra toppings now to....  And they were really quite simple.  Which was a lifesaver, because when I'm in my cooking mood and want to make certain things, it really doesn't matter to me if it takes 15 minutes or two and a half hours.  And I had other mundane boring things to do aorund then house that day too.... Anyhow, they were so simple..... and they tasted spectacular.  I'm already in love with toasted pecans, so Spiced Pecans were just my old favorite dressed up a little.  And the caramel sauce.... *sigh*  Let's just say my sister and I were standing around eating all the extra off the pan and spatula for like 5 minutes to get all that precious liquid gold that was left.

And then I had to wait all of 4 days to eat it all, because we had a busy weekend.... and the wait was worth it.  Let's just say I now have a new favorite ice cream, to put it lightly.  But I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves....   And then you can rush off to the kitchen to make it too.  

You'll be hooked. 

Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream
From Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones
Makes about 1 quart

5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Make the base:
In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in half of the sugar (6 tablespoons).  Set aside.  Set the cream by the stove.
But the butter in a heavy, nonreactive saucepan and put over medium heat.  The butter will melt and bubble, and after a few minutes it will start to turn brown.  Continue to cook until it has a rich, nutty smell and the butter solids (the little specks floating around in the liquid) have turned a dark brown, 6 to 8 minutes total.
Add the cream to the pan and stir until blended (it's important to mix in the cream before adding the milk to prevent the mixture from breaking).  Add the milk, salt, and the remaining sugar (6 tablespoons) and increase the heat to medium-high.  When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce heat to medium.  
Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks.  Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks.  Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.  
Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer.  
Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container.  Set the container into and ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool.  Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Freeze the ice cream:
Add the vanilla to the chilled base and stir until blended.  
Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.  While the ice cream is churning, place the container you'll use to store the ice cream into the freezer.  Add the pecans in the last minute or so of churning, or fold them in by hand after transferring the ice cream to the chilled container.  Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, freeze for at least 4 hours.  

Spiced Pecans
From Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones
Makes 2 cups

1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups pecan pieces

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients except the pecans and mix well.  Add the nuts and toss until they are thoroughly coated in the butter mixture.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and spread in a single layer.  
Bake for 6 minutes, stir, and bake for another 6 to 9 minutes, or until fragrant and the nuts are golden brown. 
Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally to break up the clumps (they tend to stick together as the cool).  It is nice, however, to have some clumps, as they are super tasty to toss in your mouth!
Store in an airtight container.

Caramel Sauce
From Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones
Makes 1 1/4 cups

3/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Set cream by the stove so it's at hand when you need it.  Put 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a heavy nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat.  When the sugar is melted around the edges and starts to turn amber in places (about 2 minutes), stir the mixture gently and add another 2 tablespoons sugar to the pan.
Continue to add the remaining sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring as needed and allowing most of the sugar to melt before you add more.  Watch carefully as the sugar darkens, stirring gently to help it melt evenly.
When the caramel becomes a dark mahogany color, remove the pan from the heat and immediately but slowly pour the cream into the pan.  (The mixture will steam and bubble up, so wear oven mitts and be very careful to avoid splatters and steam burns.)  When the bubbling subsides, gently stir to completely blend the cream into the caramel.  If you have lumps of hardened caramel in your pan, simply put the pan over low heat and stir until the caramel is melted.
Stir in the salt and let cool until just warm.  (The sauce will stay rippin' hot for quite a while, so resist the urge to lick the spoon.)  If not using within a few hours, transfer to a container and refrigerate.  Rewarm before using.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! This looks incredible.

    I do have one question: in the ingredients list for the caramel sauce, you only list cream and salt - how much sugar is supposed to be used?