Thursday, June 13, 2013

Somethng Really Special For Father's Day: Butter Pecan Ice Cream

It goes without saying that I believe all the recipes I put on my blog are really delicious, but sometimes one comes along that stands out above all the rest.   My mother has been telling me for years that this Southern Living butter pecan ice cream recipe is da bomb, but for some reason I never followed through and made it.  My loss, but I have now seen the light and today I hope to enlighten you too. This is some wonderful stuff.

With Father's Day coming up in a couple of days, I, like many of you out there, am looking for some really great recipes to treat that special dad in our lives.  We will be barbequing lots of good stuff for ours and I can't imagine any better way to follow that up than with this outstanding decadent dessert.

As you will notice there are eight, count 'em, EIGHT egg yolks, one stick of butter and almost two cups of cream for a little over a quart of ice cream.  How can it not be good?  At risk of you thinking I'm going all Paula Deen on you, I promise to only make this on special occasions like the Father's Day, the 4th of July or a sunny Tuesday afternoon.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream (from Southern Living Magazine)

I've never made or eaten homemade ice cream that is this silky, smooth and delicious.  I followed the ingredients and directions closely with only one small diversion,  I prepared my custard the night before, transferred it to a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerated it over night so I could put it in my little electric ice cream freezer and freeze it the next morning.  I then transferred it to another container and froze it in my home freezer for an additional 4 hours or so before serving, so it was nice and firm.  If you do this, the days of impatient diners eating soupy homemade ice cream are long gone.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
8 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (next time I will probably decrease this to 1/8 teaspoon)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.  Simmer about 4 minutes or until butter turns light brown and the milk solids on the bottom of the pan release brown specks.  Set aside; let stand until just warm.
Combine milk, cream, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat.

Beat egg yolks in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed 1 minute. Slowly add brown butter with specks into yolks, and beat 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and fluffy.

Slowly pour one-quarter of hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring until incorporated. Pour this mixture back into the medium saucepan; add remaining hot cream mixture over low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula until mixture reaches 170° and lightly coats the back of spatula. (Be careful not to let the custard boil or the egg yolks will curdle.) Strain custard into a bowl through a medium-mesh sieve. Refrigerate custard 1 hour or until chilled; stir in the extracts.

Pour mixture into a 1 1/2-quart freezer container of an electric ice cream freezer. Stir in chopped pecans, and freeze mixture according to manufacturer's instructions. Freeze 4 to 6 hours before serving.

For more great recipes like this, beautiful design ideas and expert gardening tips, visit Southern Living Magazine's site

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