Monday, July 18, 2011
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Such a lovely word. Amarcord. I remember....two little girls, sans shoes, sitting cross legged on a porch watching cream and sugar miraculously transform from a liquid to solid state. It was our first test of the new machine their grandfather had brought for them. They had just packed it with rock salt and were waiting to see if it really could turn the ingredients they had mixed into soft ice cream. Convinced their presence was necessary to the success of the operation, they claimed their seats and planned to see the process through to its conclusion, sure in the knowledge that if watched pots never boil, they surely then must freeze. Fortunately, that first batch was perfect and, thereafter, every time their grandpa Andy would visit, they'd make ice cream together. It was usually plain vanilla, but every so often it was gussied up to please the gourmet tastes that ran rampant in the family at that time. Things like strawberries or cherries were added with wild abandon and, on special occasions, pecans and brown sugar, Andy's favorites, were thrown into the pot. I often wonder how he would react to the amazing cream combinations that are available today. He was a purist and treasured the old ways, so I suspect he'd mumble about letting things be and insist on making his favorite butter pecan ice cream the way he always had. Today's recipe is very similar to the one used all those years ago. Some of you are old enough to remember the large amount of cream used in the vintage recipes. Nowadays, the use of that much cream would be considered attempted murder, so, I've cut way back on the amount of it used in the mix. The other ingredients have pretty much remained constant. This is a lovely ice cream, and, if one of your favorite flavors is butter pecan, I hope you'll give it a try. Here's the recipe.
Butter Pecan Ice Cream...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Farm Journal
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Melt butter in a small skillet set over medium heat. Add pecans and toast until lightly brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool.
2) Heat half-and-half in a large heavy saucepan set over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of 175 degrees F. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
3) Whisk a small amount of hot cream mixture into eggs. Add egg mixture to pan, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches at least 160 degrees F and coats a metal spoon. Remove from heat. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Stir in whipping cream and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of custard. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Stir in toasted pecans.
4) Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full. Freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze. Allow to ripen in ice cream freezer or firm up in the refrigerator freezer for 2-4 hours before serving. Yield: 1 quart.
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