I Say Unto You: Buy An Ice Cream Maker, Make This Ice Cream

If I had paid attention in law school instead of doing crack in the computer room and tearing pages out of legal dictionaries I would be aware of the liability I incur when I hypnotize you in the next paragraph and make you buy an ice cream maker. Oh well, I throw caution to the wind…

YOU ARE GETTING SLEEPY SLEEPY SLEEPY…watch the sheep jump jump jump…lean into your computer screen…can you see the little spiral spiraling round and round and round…

Good, now listen up. Study this picture:


This is the most delicious thing you will ever make in your WHOLE LIFE. It’s sinful, you’ll go to Hell for it, but now that you’re hypnotized you must give up all religion. Throw away that yarmulke, Yitzak. When I snap my fingers you’re an atheist–an atheist who eats ice cream.

This is the Barefoot Contessa’s caramel chocolate pecan ice cream: I made it last year and didn’t give you the recipe. Well I made it again–it’s in my freezer right now–and every time I open the freezer door celestial music plays and I hear a voice that says: “GIVE THEM THE RECIPE. THEY DESERVE TO KNOW.”

“Fine then Lord!” I plead. “But none of them have ice cream makers!”

“Tell them the recipe and I will grant you the power to hypnotize them across the internet. Once hypnotized, tell them to buy ice cream makers. Also: tell those people that stick a hyphen in between the G and D when writing my name it’s a waste of time. Ok, I’m outtie…bye!”

That’s why you’re hypnotized right now–God made me do it. So propel yourself to your vehicle and/or other mode of transporation and get thee to Williams Sonoma or Target or Bed Bath and Beyond and buy a Cuisinard Ice Cream maker for $50. That’s what I did last year and I’ve made THOUSANDS of pints of ice cream since then. You’ve heard of a beer gut? I have ice cream breasts. They’re adorable!

Now for the recipe. Do you want to know the BEST thing about this recipe? Are you ready? It gets better as it freezes! This is unheard of in the ice cream world. All the fresh homemade ice cream I’ve made gets rock hard in the freezer. But this one–because it’s made entirely of cream (no milk!)–stays soft in the freezer and you can eat it for days and weeks after and it will still be soft. In fact, when you make it you can’t eat it right out of the ice cream churner (ok, I did) because it will be too soft. You have to put it in tupperware and freeze it. Got it?

This ice cream could be renamed turtle ice cream. That was Contessa’s inspiration–Turtles, ya know, the ones with caramel, chocolate and pecans? They’re her friend Barbara’s favorite. They invented this ice cream together. [Click below to see the recipe…I’m scared to post it verbatim on the main page. That Contessa’s married to a lawyer! And he didn’t smoke crack in law school!]

I’m halving the recipe for you because half is plenty. If you want 2 quarts, double it. Here we go:

1 1/4 cup sugar

3 cups heavy cream

1 Tbs pure vanilla extract

1.5 cups pecan halves (5 oz)

3 oz best-quality sweet chocolate, diced***

***(she recommends that you use Lindt Lindor truffles–a 3.5 oz package. I found this at CVS and it worked perfectly. The insides of the truffles are gooey, but that’s good when you add them to the pecans and stir around and put in the freezer. If you can’t find the truffles, use Lindt Swiss Milk Chocolate or, according to her, “any good milk chocolate is fine, too.”)

Place 1/4 cup of water and the sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and cook over low heat, without stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil until the sugar turns a warm mahagony or caramel color, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not stir, but swirl the pan occassionally so the caramel cooks evenly.


Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. The caramel is very hot, and the mixture will bubble up violently, then solidify. Don’t worry. Return it to low heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the caramel dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vanilla. Pour into a container and refrigerate until very cold.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roats the pecans on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes until crisp. Cool, chop, mix with the diced chocolate and store in the freezer until ready to use.

Freeze the caramel mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. (It may take several batches.) When it is frozen, add the cold chopped pecans and chocolate and mix in completely. Transfer to quart containers and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

That’s it!

It’s a rich, sweet, decadent ice cream that you can cherish for weeks after you make it. (Or, if you’re compulsive: days.) What a great dish for summer!

Ok, when we snap our fingers you’ll wake up, find an ice cream maker in your kitchen, all the ingredients, and you’ll be ready to go. Are you ready? Quick: take your clothes off. Done? Excellent. Here we go… SNAP!

24 thoughts on “I Say Unto You: Buy An Ice Cream Maker, Make This Ice Cream”

  1. I made this last year. You put the recipe in the comments section of the post. It was truly incredible. In fact, I will probably start off the ice cream season with it again this year.

    As I commented last year, some of the steps took much longer than the recipe indicated — the sugar took 20 min. to dissolve, and the mass of caramel took a very long time to melt into the cream. This isn’t a recipe to throw together; you really need to set aside a serious chunk of time. But, oh, it is worth it.

    For anyone who doesn’t have an ice cream maker, but who already has a Kitchenaid mixer, I use the Kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment, and it works like a charm. It kept me from adding another small appliance to my arsenal. It comes with a freezing bowl and a dasher attachment for the mixer. (I know, I also mentioned this last year. I promise I am not shilling for Kithenaid.)

  2. Is there an allowance on your tax return for items you buy for because of just one recipe? Like the mandoline I bought to make that apple tarte-tatin? And now this heart melting ice cream. ~sigh~

  3. I JUST bought an icecream maker last week and am so pysched about this recipe! Thanks!

  4. I’ve had an ice cream maker for about 2 years now and it is certainly a favorite purchase. I’ve never made anything quite as complex as this tutle mess but there’s a first time for everything.

    Anyway, I second the motion on buying an ice cream maker. Even if you make nothing but vanilla (you have to use actual beans in the mix, come ON, people) for the rest of your life, there are few things greater than super-duper-fresh homemade vanilla straight from the machine. Mmm.

  5. Oh, Adam, thank heavens for the recipe and inspiration…you rock! Will put it to the test as soon as it warms up a bit here in gloomy/rainy San Francisco.



  6. I just stumbled across your blog after having made ice cream last night. I don’t do ice cream more than 3 or 4 times a year but it’s a fun thing to do from scratch when the right recipe crosses your path. I use an old ice cream freezer that takes a couple ice trays of ice and a cannister of table salt. It’s great because it doesn’t take up any freezer space or require that you plan ahead to have a bowl pre-frozen. But the plastic top is badly cracked and I think I may lose it soon. :gasp!:

    Anyway, here’s the recipe I used for banana ice cream. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_27213,00.html I layered the frozen ice cream in some Rubbermaid with drizzled ribbons of fudge & caramel sauce and handfuls of broken up toffee bits. It’s a banana split on a spoon.

    I’ve also got a recipe we use at Thanksgiving. It’s called Buttermilk Ice Cream but tastes like frozen eggnog.

  7. I love my Cuisinart ice cream machine. No muss, no fuss — just freeze the bowl and dump your ingredients in. You’re making ice cream faster than a jackrabbit on a date!

  8. Does anyone know of a good cinnamon-vanilla ice cream recipe? Is it just as simple as adding good ground cinnamon to french vanilla?

  9. I’ve read that adding a couple tablespoons of high-proof alcohol to homemade ice cream will prevent it from becoming too hard as it freezes. This recipe has inspired me to get an ice cream maker, so perhaps I will eventually make other, inferior, ice cream recipes and find out for myself.

  10. You made me do it! I went out and bought a Cuisinart -note the “t” on the end- ice cream maker. My first batch was the Caramel Ice Cream in the Hesser book. It is to die for! Thanks for the inspiring me to get back in the kitchen again.

  11. I did it last night! Mine doesn’t look at all like yours. Mine is more dulce de leche looking. I like the appearance of yours but I wanted all the flavor of the caramelized sugar so I guess I went on cooking it longer. I also used lightly salted pecans and they were tiny so I didn’t chop them up.

    Verdict: after a night in the freezer it’s still quite soft but it is THE breakfast of champions. And I DEFINITELY should have made the 2qt version for my family cause it ain’t gonna be around long! But that’s good because I just bought strawberries yesterday and the new Gourmet cookbook has a recipe for strawberry cheesecake ice cream and I’ve got some super glue to fix the top on my ice cream maker.

    Oh! And for cinnamon ice cream, I’d sustitute brown sugar for part of the granulated sugar in any old vanilla recipe and simmer the milk/cream with a stick of cinnamon until you get a nice aroma of cinnamon. How bad could eating the testing versions until you perfect the proportion be?

  12. I’m inspired and better yet, I already have an ice cream maker. This sounds utterly delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Subject: Resource Suggestion

    Dear Webmaster,

    I found your site while surfing the internet. It’s great by the way and I particularly liked (business section)! I would love for our site to be added to your links page for (Kiwi Stone Ice Creamery) at: https://www.amateurgourmet.com/the_amateur_gourmet

    We provide what I think is one of the most detailed and informative sites for fresh, smooth and creamy ice cream on the Internet … but then again, as one of the authors and webmasters, I have to admit to being slightly biased. If you would be so kind as to consider our site for inclusion on your links page, I would be very grateful.

    Our site information is:

    Site Name: Kiwi Stone Ice Creamery

    url: http://www.kiwi-stone.com


    The finest ice cream franchise in the world- Kiwi Stone uses high quality New Zealand dairy products for freshly made ice cream. Using a unique grinding process together with mix ins for a smooth and creamy taste, Kiwi Stone’s specialty is an individual delectable creation for each customer.

    Warmest Regards,


    Kiwi Stone Ice Creamery


  14. I am trying in vain to find two recipes for ice cream….strawberry cheesecake and black cherry (similiar to the one that Turkey Hill makes)….can you help me? My husband and I just got an ice cream maker and we love these two flavors. May I hear from you soon please? Thanks, Rita Oliva

  15. I made this last week. It turned out great. However, I think 2 Tbs. is a lot of vanilla. I will try it next time with less.

  16. ‘All the fresh homemade ice cream I’ve made gets rock hard in the freezer. ‘

    I love making ice cream – but the rock hard part had to stop. Try one to two tablespoons of everclear in the mix. Works GREAT.


  17. Hi I just made this tonight. I put it in the freezer to firm up for about 2 hours now but it is still so soft. It melts as soon as I put it into my bowl. Will it get harder/firmer by tomorrow night?

  18. Brenda Jennings

    Wonderful, and perfect timing…have to get more active with my ice cream maker this summer! Thanks for this Adam!

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