I recently spotted a Brown Butter ice cream recipe and thought how intriguing it sounded.
That first recipe used corn starch to thicken the recipe, which I've done before (a la Mark Bittman) but never loved as much as the egg yolk based "frozen custard" type recipes. So I went in search of a new recipe.
I found one that sounded delicious at Chez Pim but I decided to add a little bit more with some pan roasted pecans.
And just for fun, I added some dark chocolate homemade magic shell. mmmm...
We actually divided our churned ice cream in two and only used 1 cup of pecans in half the ice cream. You can do what you like with this information.
Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream
1 cup butter (2 sticks), cut into cubes
1.5 cups milk
1.5 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar (divided)
1 tsp salt
2 cups chopped, roasted pecans (recipe follows)
1. Place the butter in a deep pan over medium heat and begin heating the butter, stirring or swirling often. The butter will start to foam and bubble but keep watching just as it starts to brown and smell nutty remove it from the heat. The process should just take a few minutes. If you 'over brown' your butter, just strain out all the brown bits.
2. Put your 6 yolks + half the sugar in a blender or food processor (you need a volume of about a quart + in the blender or food processor so to make sure you have enough room for all the liquids).
3. When fully combined, leave the blender or food processor running. Then, slowly pour the (strained) hot brown butter into the yolk/sugar mixture and keep blending until fully combined (if you don't blend while adding, you'll cook your eggs!).
4. Rinse out the pan you used for your brown butter and place the rest of the sugar, salt, and milk (but NOT the cream) in the pan over medium heat. Allow the mixture to get to a simmer and then cut the heat.
5. Again, while blending, add the sugar/milk mixture into the egg/brown butter mixture.
6. When all the yolks have been fully incorporated, poor off the liquid into a large bowl. Add the remaining cream and mix to combine.
7. Allow to chill in freezer overnight.
8. Freeze as per manufacturers recommendations on your ice cream maker.
9. In the last few minutes of churning (or afterwords if your ice cream maker doesn't set your ice cream too stiffly) add in the chopped pecans.
10. Pour into a lidded container and place a piece of parchment paper over the surface of the mixture (this will stop the leathery freezer burn-yness that tends to form on top of ice cream). Seal the container with the lid and place in the freezer to set fully. Enjoy in a few hours.
Pan Roasted Pecans
If you have another method you prefer for roasting nuts, go with it. (For example, in the oven on a sheet pan). This one is fast and easy (especially to watch so it won't burn).
2.5 cups raw pecans
1. Place the pecans in a dry pan over medium heat. Stirring constantly until a roasted smell starts to waft over you and the pecans just start to change color. Pour into an open countainer and allow to cool on the counter (do not seal the container as the water in the air may condense and fall onto your pecans causing them to 'wilt'). When they are cooled completely, close the container and store at room temperature until use.
Homemade Magic Shell
The real 'secret' to magic shell is coconut oil. Coconut oil is a liquid at room temp, but a solid at ice cream temperatures meaning that you can pour it on, but once it hits the ice cream it hardens forming a delicious, thin shell. Mmm. This version is so simple you'll wonder why you ever purchased a bottle from the store!
75 grams dark chocolate** (I used 72% dark)
50 grams refined coconut oil*
pinch of salt.
1. Chop the chocolate and place in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds and then remove, stir. Heat for another 30 seconds and then remove, stir. By now, the chocolate should be completely melted. Add the coconut oil and salt. Mix to combine.
2. Store in a glass container at room temperature (NOT in the refrigerator) if the magic shell hardens because it's cold (winter time) just place the glass container in the microwave for a few seconds until it melts.
*If you use unrefined coconut oil your magic shell will have a 'coconutty' taste to it which some people (including myself) like.
**You can use any chocolate you like, we've even had success with white chocolate.