Earlier this month, I bought The Husband an ice cream maker for his birthday. Okay, maybe he didn’t specifically ask for an ice cream maker. The new toy he probably would have preferred for his birthday cost a few hundred dollars. An ice cream maker does not and it’s something we’ve been talking about purchasing for a while. So happy birthday, honey! Here is your ice cream maker. . .
Gotta keep a tight grip on those purse strings. At least until I start getting a bazillion hits a day on this site and can start rolling in the advertising dough. Or money magically falls out of the sky. Whichever comes first. I’m fairly optimistic about the sky scenario.
I vaguely remember the old ice cream makers of my childhood. I am at least young enough that electric churn makers were on the market, but I remember my dad having to add ice and rock salt to the outer container and the blasted thing was so loud we had to put it outside while it did its thing. I did do my homework on ice cream maker brands and while salt versions are still available and cheaper, I knew I didn’t want to deal with that. This brand got good reviews and is quiet enough that I left it running in the kitchen and it wasn’t any more distracting than the sound of my dishwasher.
A word of experience. Don’t bring your ice cream maker home from the store and expect a homemade frozen dessert by that evening. At least with the brand I bought, you need to plan ahead to allow the gel in the insert to freeze and for your custard to cool and set. I currently am storing the gel insert in the deep freezer so it will be ready when I need it. But you may want to make the ice cream the day before you plan to serve it to ensure that it has time to harden.
So even though The Husband didn’t get exactly what he wanted for his birthday, I did offer to make his favorite ice cream – homemade butter pecan. The recipe was fairly simple and the flavor was unbelievably yummy and creamy. AND no crazy additives or preservatives like guar gum, diglycerides, and Yellow No. 5. Just milk, vanilla, eggs, and of course pecans.
Disclaimer time – the decision to buy this ice cream maker was purely my own. I was in no way coerced, bribed, or blackmailed by Cuisinart to purchase their product. However, if you do click on the link above and order your own ice cream maker through Amazon, I do get a small commission.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup pecan halves and pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2-1/4 cups whole milk
- 2-1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 whole vanilla bean (about 6 inches in length)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and toast the pecans for about 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and strain the butter. Reserve butter for another use or discard. Chill pecans.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and cream.
- Using a sharp knife, gently cut open the vanilla bean lengthwise. Spread the bean apart to reveal the seeds. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the vanilla bean pod to the milk/cream mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, then simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about two minutes.
- Remove and discard the bean pod from the milk/cream mixture. Ladle out one cup of the hot liquid. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture and continue to beat until well combined.
- Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the cream mixture and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour mixture into a bowl (I find metal is best). Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Place custard in the freezer and chill for 2-3 hours.
- Pour chilled custard directly into the insert of your ice cream maker. Mix for approximately 30 minutes until custard is the consistency of soft serve ice cream. If desired, pour into an airtight freezer container and freeze for an additional two hours.