Butter Pecan Ice Cream
I’ve really enjoyed having my ice cream freezer, as you might be able to tell. After the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, I took a poll to see what flavor I should make next. Right up until the poll, everyone had been all excited about Butter Pecan. It was all anyone wanted. Then, out of nowhere, after one silly little poll, Butter Pecan came in second. It took a backseat to sexier, flashier Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch ice cream. Until now.
This recipe also comes from the Ben & Jerry’s cookbook, and while I’m not sure I’m ready to blame the cookbook, I have to say: this was the first Ben & Jerry’s recipe that I was slightly disappointed with.
I’m not sure what went wrong here. Maybe it was technique, or maybe it was the fault of the recipe. Maybe the pecans were cooked too much. Maybe not enough. Maybe the bowl wasn’t chilled enough. Maybe the mixing didn’t happen fast enough. Maybe the pecans were too warm.
What I do know is that we lost the perfect texture that I’d worked out during the previous trials. This ice cream had crystals that you could taste, and wasn’t the velvety smooth base that I’ve come to crave.
David thought that he might have over-toasted the pecans, and while I did taste that once or twice, I don’t think that was really the problem. For me, the real problem was another texture issue–ultimately, the finish on this ice cream smacked of butter. There were even little tiny chunks of butter in the mixture. As Alton Brown would say, that’s not good eats.
On the plus side: the flavor was amazing. My issues here were all textural, and those can be fixed, I think. Of course, maybe I’ll just look for a different recipe next time. I’ve had butter pecan ice cream many times, and I’ve even made butter pecan ice cream before. But I’ve never actually eaten BUTTER in my pecan ice cream.
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Adapted from the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Dessert Cookbook
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 2 large or extra large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over a low heat. Add the pecans and salt and saute, stirring constantly, until the pecans start to turn brown. Drain the butter into a small bowl and transfer the pecans to another bowl and let cool.
2. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the melted butter and blend again.
3. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker. Add while the mixer is on the low setting, then turn it up to high.
4. Once the ice cream is almost finished (about2 minutes before it is done) add the pecans and continue freezing the mixture until the ice cream is ready.
When it’s done in the ice cream machine, the ice cream will be the consistency of soft-serve. Freeze for at least two hours for a solid, scoopable ice cream.
Note: I don’t want to point fingers, but I can honestly say that the reason I’m not entirely sure what went wrong with this batch of ice cream is in large part because I had David make it while I worked on the rest of dinner. I’m not saying he did it wrong, I’m just saying I don’t know what was different. I do know that he forgot to add the salt. I don’t think that was the source of the troubles though. As I said, I might try this again, and make sure we’re a little more cautious, but maybe it’s just time to look for another recipe.