Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream

by Susan Salzman
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icecream.butter.pecan_.cup-sm.jpgA few weeks back, Patricia and I made this angel food cake which was delicious. It also left me with 9 egg yolks. 9 I say! I gave Eli the choice of what to do with the yolks; pot de creme, lemon curd, custard, ice cream. He, of course, chose the ice cream. He and I sifted through David’s book, The Perfect Scoop and it was a toss up between two flavors. I have made a lot of David’s ice creams and I really didn’t want to repeat a recipe. The Butterscotch Pecan got the final vote. And I am so glad it did.

The key word in this recipe is “butter”. The butter mixed with the brown sugar is the flavor profile that resonates on the back of your tongue, long after the ice cream has left your mouth. Mind you, I am not a huge ice cream fan. Generally, I pass on this decadent dessert and go for the apple tart with caramel sauce or a piece of chocolate or the gourmet doughnut (fried-yes, I love a really, really good doughnut). This ice cream is like no other. It is in a class all by itself and this ice cream could send me to a Weight Watchers meeting each week: confessing that my daily points were consumed with a scoop of this ice cream.

We were going to friends and we were already bringing lots of treats. I said to myself could I possibly bring another article of “food”. Yet, there was no way I could, with good conscious, keep this ice cream in the house. Eli was irate with me, but I could see myself pulling a Nigela Lawson. At the end of each episode, you see her, in her jammies, in the kitchen-all lights are off except for the light from the fridge-and she is pillaging the leftovers. That would be me, with this ice cream – one spoonful at a time. I had to “let it go”.

Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream
Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients:
5 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup (170g) brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups (500 ml)heavy cream
3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
6 (101 g) large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon scotch whisky
Buttered pecans

Buttered pecans
1 1/2 tablespoons(25 g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (150 g) pecans, chopped coarse
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:

For the ice cream:
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and salt. Mix well. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and the milk. warm mixture, but do not boil. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a glass bowl. Place a strainer on top. Set aside.

Ladle small portions of the hot cream mixture into the beaten egg yolks, whisking the whole time (You don’t want the egg yolks to cook and curdle. Whisk vigorously). Keep adding the milk mixture until you temper the eggs. pour this mixture back into the saucepan.

Over low-medium heat, stir the mixture, constantly, with a heat proof spatula. The custard is ready when the mixture thickens and the coats the back of the spatula without disappearing. I like to run my finger along the back of the spatula. You know it is ready when your finger track remains on the back of the spatula for at least 10 seconds.

Pour the hot custard through the strainer into the bowl of cream. Stir to combine. Add the vanilla and whisky. Cool completely and then place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl, pressing the plastic wrap on the top of the custard. Put in the fridge until cooled completely.

Put the custard in your chilled ice cream maker and mix for 30 minutes (I have a simple Cuisinart and it gets the job done). Mix in the buttered pecans, transfer to a freezer safe container and let set.

For the buttered pecans: Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add the pecans and coat. Sprinkle with salt. Spread nut mixture on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool completely before adding to the ice cream.

 

Susan Salzman writes The Urban Baker blog to explore her dedication to good food in the hope of adding beauty to the lives of her family and friends.     

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