Butter Pecan Ice Cream

This post is long, long overdue.  I actually made this months ago during the summer and somehow lost those photos until I discovered them yesterday in a totally unrelated folder in my computer.  In a folder ironically titled “Organized Documents.”  Clearly, an organizational fail on my part.  Whooops.

The recipe for this butter pecan ice cream comes from Tom’s mom, who was so kind to invite me over to make ice cream with her.  I loved it so much that I immediately made another batch a few days later.  This ice cream is a wonderful combination of flavors and textures: smooth, creamy, crunchy, sweet, buttery, nutty.  It is just perfection!!! Yes, that sentence is worthy of three exclamation marks, because you won’t find a commercial version that is as good as this one.

I tried to use half and half instead of a combination of light and heavy cream for convenience, but the custard just curdled by the time the brown sugar melted.  I probably heated it too quickly.  I highly recommend that you follow the recipe as is (for the first time at the very least) and make adjustments once you’re more comfortable with the method.  And definitely use a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract.  It makes all the difference in the world!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream
(makes about 1 quart)

½ cup pecan, chopped
1 ½ tbsp butter
1 ½ cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups light cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds removed, or 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

In a small skillet over medium heat, saute pecans in butter until lightly browned, stirring frequently.  Let cool.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together brown sugar, eggs, and light cream.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted and mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.  Add cream, vanilla (seeds and pod), and pecans.

Chill mixture in the refrigerator.  Once cooled, remove and discard vanilla bean pod.  Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

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