Have a little patience with this recipe, it is a 3-parter. The flavor you will create is worth all the extra time you will give it. Ice cream is not meant to be made spontaneously. You can thank me later by whispering to yourself, "Oh, this is so good", with each spoonful.
This toasted butter pecan ice cream is so rich you will not be filling a soup bowl of the stuff after dinner. Recipe makes 1 luxurious pint. Double the recipe if you are feeding an army or small party.
CANDIED TOASTED PECANS
1 cup pecans, broken pieces
2 Tbl. butter
2 Tbl. dark brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 egg yolks
2 Tbl. melted butter, cooled
1 tea. vanilla extract (good quality)
1/4 tea. salt
In a flat non-stick skillet on medium heat place the broken pecan pieces and begin to toast 1-2 minutes. You should just begin to smell their toasty aroma. Add butter to melt and swirl to coat the pecans. Remove from heat and add brown sugar until it melts and coats the nuts. They should be dark brown but not burnt. Move to a non-stick mat or on a platter coated in non-stick spray to cool, divide in half.
In a sauce pan add all ingredients to make the custard. Simmer on medium low heat until custard mix is hot but NOT bubbling on the edges, stirring constantly so not to scorch the bottom of the sauce pan. You are only dissolving the sugar and cooking the eggs so not much time is needed. Add half the toasted pecans to the custard mix, place in a clean bowl and chill in the refrigerator, minimum 4 hours The longer you let this steep, the richer the flavor. Overnight is best.
When you are ready to freeze the custard mixture and churn into ice cream, strain out the toasted pecans steeping in the custard mixture first. They will be mealy and have done their job. Churn the custard into ice cream using the methods per your machine. Pour finished ice cream into a lidded container alternating layers of ice cream and the remaining candied pecans. Be sure to save a few pecans for the top.