Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream

National Ice Cream Month is still rolling along, and I’m totally overwhelmed with all the potential flavor options I could share.  I decided to try this butterscotch pecan because it’s certainly not a typical flavor for me.  If you’ve been reading this blog long, you may remember that I used to declare hatred of almost all types of nuts.  Then one Thanksgiving I discovered pecan pie and slowly began to warm up to them (well, at least some of them).  I have been hearing good things about this particular recipe so I thought I would give it a try.  I figured even if I wasn’t crazy about it, Ben would surely love it and there would be lots of interested readers.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that when I was younger, I would resort to eating butter pecan ice cream when there was no other sort of ice cream around and pick out all the nuts which left me with basically just vanilla ice cream.  Once I got around to actually making this recipe, I realized this was a whole different ballgame.  Butterscotch pecan ice cream – as in butterscotch, my dear sweet love.  Well, hello, we have a winner.  So rich, creamy and well, buttery!  I even enjoyed the pecans.  My biggest mistake?  Only making a half batch.

Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream
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For the buttered pecans:
1½ tbsp. butter
1½ cups pecan halves
¼ tsp. coarse salt

For the ice cream:
5 tbsp. butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ tsp. coarse salt
2 cups heavy cream, divided
¾ cup whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. scotch whisky (I didn’t have scotch so I used Jack Daniels)

To make the buttered pecans, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Melt the butter in a skillet.  Remove from the heat and toss the pecans with butter until evenly coated.  Sprinkle with the salt.  Spread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-12 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.  If desired, coarsely chop the pecans before adding them to the ice cream.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Once melted, whisk in the brown sugar and salt.  Stir in 1 cup of the heavy cream, and the whole milk.  Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream in a mixing bowl with a fine mesh sieve set over the top.

Place the egg yolks in a separate medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks.  Whisking constantly, slowly add the warm sugar-cream mixture to the egg yolks to temper.  Continue until all of the liquid has been incorporated.  Return the mixture to the saucepan over medium heat.  Continue to heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 170-175˚ F on an instant-read thermometer.  Immediately remove from the heat and pour through the sieve and into the bowl with the cream.  Stir in the vanilla and scotch.  Cover the bowl and transfer to the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.  (To speed chilling, stir over an ice bath.)

Once the mixture is completely chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer to a freezer-safe container and gently fold in the buttered pecans until evenly incorporated.  Freeze until firm.

Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

35 Responses

  1. Hi Annie:

    I’m so excited to try making homemade ice cream, but I don’t know the slightest thing about buying an ice cream maker. I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and thought about purchasing the ice cream attachment for that. I am googling reviews and recommendations, but do you have a particular brand/type you recommend as well?

  2. Ooh, my husband LOVES butter pecan ice cream, but this looks much better.

  3. You picked all the nuts out? You must have been desperate. 🙂 But I know the feeling. When you gotta have ice cream, you really need it. Gotta try this.

  4. Annie, this is a marvelous ice cream! I am having such fun this summer trying recipes with my new ice cream-maker. I have David’s book and every recipe is delicious!

  5. YAY! I’m so glad you gave it a try. Next to the plain old chocolate, this is my all time fav from David’s book.

  6. What does the whiskey do for it? Just the flavor? Do you think you could just leave it out? I don’t do alcohol for anything.

  7. Does the texture of your ice cream stay creamy even the next day? Mine never tastes the same the next day. Sometimes we can’t even scoop it out it is frozen so solid. What should I do differently?

    • Cheryl,
      You can add a bit of alcohol, use more fat, use a custard base…those are some things that help keep it from freezing too solid. David Lebovitz has a whole blog entry with suggestions on his blog. But yes, this one stays very creamy and is not difficult to scoop days later. It really just depends on the recipe you use (which is why I always use his – they never fail).

  8. Gosh, all of these ice cream recipes are making me seriously contemplate purchasing an ice cream machine. I LOVE Butter Pecan Ice Cream so I can only imagine that ButterScotch Pecan would just be out of this world.

  9. wow, that`s an idea!

    have a nice day!

  10. I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and LOVE it. I’ve tried several of your recipies and love them as well and am anxious to try this ice cream recipe as well. I have an ice cream maker and it does not “freeze” the mixture. It just gets it somewhat frozen to the consistency of a very soft milkshake. I then transfer that to a container and place it in the freezer. Is this normal and to be expected?

    • For the most part, mine does the same. It depends on the type of batter and how well chilled the batter is, but overall it has the consistency you are describing. I never eat it right out of the machine but freeze it usually overnight before eating.

  11. This ice cream looks wonderful! I recently purchased an ice cream maker and The Perfect Scoop, and have been wanting to try this recipe. You may have convinced me that it should be the next one I try!

  12. Delicious! We love pecan pie and are a bit obsessed with nuts in ice cream (rocky road, pistachio, walnut maple!) – so we will definitely have to give this recipe a whirl…!

  13. Butter pecan has always been my grandpa’s favorite flavor, but definitely not mine. Imagine my sadness when I realized last week that the only Blue Bunny imported ice cream flavor available in Costa Rica is butter pecan. Agh! Thankfully, the Ben & Jerry’s selection is wider. Also great that you keep posting wonderful flavors to keep my ice cream machine busy. Thanks again for sharing, though I must admit that I doubt this flavor will find its way into my freezer.

  14. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ve never had this ice cream before, but I know my husband loves it, so I’ll try it soon! I so love your recipes, so I am sure I would enjoy this one too!

  15. i adore butter pecan ice cream and i just know i will love this!

  16. I made ice cream for the very first time on Wednesday. I used your cake batter recipe, and it turned out great! I have to say, making ice cream is a lot of fun! I may never go back to store-bought.

  17. Pecan pie is how I finally decided I liked pecans as well! I’m still not going to sit around and munch on them, but I do use them in many recipes now. And enjoy them! I love about any other type of nut on their own though. Pecans were the only ones I had issues with. I can’t wait until I finally break down and buy the ice cream attachment for my stand mixer! Until then I’ll stare at yours and continue to buy ice cream at the store!

  18. I am a huge fan of both butterscotch and pecans so this is something I’m going to HAVE to try soon!

  19. love this recipe too – and it helps that the nuts are cooked in butter – they are sure to taste better that way 🙂

  20. I can relate. If Butter Pecan was the only flavor in the house, I would resort to picking out the nuts too. And if I missed one, I would spit it out in disgust, rather than eat it.

    Oh, and I’ve made Butterscotch Ice Cream too (different recipe though), and it still stands as my #1 flavor I’ve made so far!

  21. I wanna say this looks fabulous! I am so going grocery shopping tom. and buying all the ingredients. I love your blog such fabulous recipes. I am going to make a special breakfast on Sunday morning for my mom, your blueberry rolls and then we are so eating the ham and cheese sliders for dinner. Thanks for the excellent ideas.

  22. You had me at butterscotch!

  23. I love butter pecan ice cream, I can only imagine this is even better!
    thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!! I hope you still don’t pick the nuts out!!

  24. Love your dedication to this wonderful month of ice creams.Cooking Light ran a special series of three great light ice cream that were amazing I recently tried. Strawberry Merlot, Salted Caramel and Mint Chocolate chip. I also recently tried a Thai coconut ice cream. So simple – 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 can of coconut milk, a splash of almond extract and some freshly grated nutmeg. It was fantastic and so quick I felt like I cheated!

  25. This is making my mouth water! I’ve been looking at The Perfect Scoop forever- I think I need it right now. Your ice cream looks so delicious, and I love pecans. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  26. I just have to make it through my brother’s wedding next week (barely fitting into the bridesmaid dress!) and then I can pull out my ice cream maker to try this recipe!

  27. Hi, just to let you know, I was looking for a Tarragon Chicken recipe the other day and found one on your blog from a couple of years or so ago. Cooked it and enjoyed it, I then published it on my blog with full accreditation to you and a link to this site. Hope that’s OK.

  28. That looks delicious!! And, I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a blog award!

  29. Wow. Butterscotch really takes this to another level. So sad I don’t have an ice cream maker… xxSAS

  30. looks delish, i think my husband, especially will enjoy this one! and, just guessing … you probably mean 1/4 “tsp” coarse salt? thank you!

  31. I made this last night and it was Amazing!!!

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