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Real Vermont Maple Syrup Pecan Ice Cream

December 11, 2011

So this summer I switched from baking warm cakes and breads to preparing home-made ice cream taking it for granted that I would naturally revert back to the warm activity as soon as it gets cold. Not at all as expected! I’m still in ice cream mode! Thus far this fall and early winter, I’ve made green tea ice cream and coconut jackfruit ice cream – as part of two CCC (Cultural Culinary Cruise) events hosted for our friends – and maple syrup pecan ice cream utilizing personally delivered ingredients from our friend from Vermont. The above picture also hails from the Green Mountain State.

If you are in the mood for a rich, creamy maple-syrup butter-pecan-crunch ice cream with a salty touch to it, then you should make this ice cream, spring, summer, winter or fall… (All you need to do is call read this recipe..And I’ll be there I guarantee it will be great…).

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter (unsalted)
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup real Vermont maple syrup
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream (whipped)

1. Chop pecans coarsely. Melt butter in a frying pan and toast pecans in butter stirring on medium heat until golden and aromatic. Sprinkle with salt. Cool and freeze until the final step (see below).

2. In a saucepan, add milk and maple syrup. Cook until steam becomes visible but before it starts to boil, mixing to a homogenous liquid.

3. Beat egg yolks until smooth and gradually add a ladle in a slow stream to the yolks whisking. Repeat with a second ladle and again until milk-syrup mixture and yolks are thoroughly blended. Cook custard in the saucepan at a low temperature stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until it begins to thicken. The custard should look like caramel sauce at the end. Transfer to a large metal bowl, let cool and chill in refrigerator (or freezer) until very cold.

4. Whip cream until soft peaks form but avoid overdoing it as cream may become too thick for the purpose of ice cream making. (This step is omitted if you’re using an ice cream maker (see original recipe) but is included for making hand-churned ice cream. The extra step of whipping the cream creates foam or air bubbles into the ice cream, which makes the final texture of the ice cream better.)

5. Slowly and gently incorporate maple custard into whip cream, adding chilled (or frozen:)!) pecans into it. Freeze ice cream mixture in metal bowl, covered with plastic wrap if possible, and remove from freezer every 30 minutes or so for a period of 2-4 hours to hand-churn and improve the texture. If you don’t have time to churn by hand, simply pour mixture in an airtight container (I reuse one from an old yogurt) and freeze for at least 4 hours. Typically, crystals will form if making ice cream using fruit juice, fruit pieces, coconut milk, milk or any other less fatty liquid but since this ice cream is heavy on fat content and uses primarily heavy cream, crystals are less likely to form even if you don’t churn it throughout the freezing process.

Enjoy this scrumptious winter wonderland!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

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