I have been searching far and wide for the perfect butter pecan ice cream recipe.
After reading about 5 different versions and 30 reviews, I wrote up my own adapted recipe.
And I’m pretty sure I nailed it.
This is a traditional custard-style ice cream made with a few egg yolks, brown sugar, part whipping cream and part half-and-half, vanilla extract, and oven-roasted pecans tossed in salted butter.
The end result is divine.
I love how the saltiness of the crunchy pecans offsets the sweetness of the creamy ice cream.
My older sister and I share a love of our ice cream makers, though she is known to make delicious lower-fat ice creams and sorbets, several of which I will test out soon.
Her response to my latest ice cream adventure was “Butter pecan! Oh my god my favorite! …Special occasion?”
Haha, no not at all.
Just hungry and insanely obsessive!
Seriously, it’s taking all my willpower not to open the freezer right now and smash my face directly into this ice cream.
wish me luck,
peaches and cake
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Makes 3 cups ice cream, about 6 small servings.
Double the recipe for a crowd.
- ½ cup raw pecans + extra for topping
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place pecans on a shallow baking pan lined with parchment paper. Set the pan on the middle rack of the oven and toast pecans until fragrant and a shade darker, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the salted butter to hot pecans and toss until butter is melted, then cool pecans completely (they will absorb butter). Finely chop. Set aside.
Meanwhile, crack the eggs and discard the whites, reserving the yolks. Whisk the egg yolks and the brown sugar together with a fork and mix well. Set aside.
Combine the half-and-half and whipping cream in a good-quality saucepan over medium heat, and heat until it comes to a simmer.
Lower the heat. Add a few scoopfuls of the simmering liquid to the egg mixture to temper the eggs, then slowly pour the warmed egg mixture into the saucepan. Using a wire whisk, stir the mixture constantly while keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, (about 170 to 175°F on an instant-read thermometer), about 4 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil.
Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
Cover and let cool completely in the fridge, about 6 hours or overnight. Make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is also in the freezer at the coldest setting at this time.
Allow the machine to start running before you pour in the batter. Pour ice cream mixture into the running ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold in the reserved pecans with a rubber spatula once the ice cream is beginning to freeze and hold a shape.
Pack the ice cream into an airtight plastic container. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours.
Serve sprinkled with extra toasted pecans, if desired.