Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream

Good people, I have returned to the land of the living. As I stated in today’s newsletter (my first since August (subscribe here)), half of my cookbook was due this past Friday and I turned it in with a great sense of accomplishment and relief. Now I have some time to breath while my editor reads it over. And that means more blogging, more newsletter writing, and more time to spend with a certain someone I’ve been ignoring too much lately: (said in a Hallmarky, dramatic voice) me.

And what better way for me to treat myself than with homemade ice cream?

Those of you who watched my live video stream with Cole Escola two weeks ago watched us make David Lebovitz’s Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream live. This is an ice cream for the ages: sweet, buttery, crunchy and intense, one spoonful of this will make you a homemade ice cream convert for life. Even Cole (who’s not really a cook), upon experiencing it, expressed a desire for his own ice cream maker. That’s the power of this ice cream.

If you watched the video, I hope we demystified the process for you. Essentially, you make a custard by warming cream and milk, adding it to a bowl of egg yolks (whisking furiously as you do, so the yolks don’t scramble), returning it to the heat and cooking–stirring the whole while–just until thick. Then you strain that into a bowl of more cream, mix it together, chill over an ice bath, chill further in the fridge (you really want it cold when it hits the ice cream maker) and then, at last, you churn it.

Now there’s a tub of homemade Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream in my freezer and life feels very, very good. Even as the weather gets colder, I’m very glad to have it.

Thank you, me.

Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream

by David Lebovitz from “The Perfect Scoop”


5 tablespoons (70 g) butter, salted or unsalted

3/4 cup (170 g), packed dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream

3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk

6 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon scotch whisky

buttered pecans (see step 1)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Toss 1 1/2 Tbs melted butter (additional to the 5 Tbs you’ll use later), 1 1/2 cups pecan halves and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt together on a cookie sheet. Spread evenly and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once during baking. Remove from the oven and cool completely.


2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then stir in the brown sugar and salt until well moistened. Whisk in 1 cup of the cream and the milk.

3. Warm the brown sugar and cream mixture. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm brown sugar mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

5. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the vanilla and scotch, then stir until cool over an ice bath.

6. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the buttered pecans.




Transfer to a plastic container and freeze until it’s scoop-able (as if you could wait that long!)

Let's dish!

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