I mentioned before how pleased we were with the Cuisinart Simple Chocolate ice cream recipe. My kids absolutely love it and it is certainly the very best of all the many chocolate recipes I have tried. But I found one I like even better: Butter Pecan. It is so simple, just their vanilla recipe with buttered pecans added in, but I found it absolutely divine. You can find the recipes online through Cuisinart and the manuals, and while I mention that, I must say that I am extremely happy with the new ice cream maker we got from them. I upgraded from our old one because Williams Sonoma had a special for the machine and two freezing bowls. I used to have a compressor style gelato freezer, but the compressor died sooner than I liked and I was not going to invest that much money again for such small capacity and lack of durability. So having two freezer bowls meant I could still make a least two flavors in a short period of time. You can make a full batch of simple vanilla ice cream and a half batch of the buttered pecans and stir them into half of the finished vanilla after scooping it out, and you get two flavors for one churning! The recipes only make 5 cups worth, so there will be a generous pint of each that way.
Buttered Pecan Ice Cream
makes about 5 cups
4 tbsp unsalted butter (or use a bit less salt if using salted butter)
1 cup pecans, broken into large chunks
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup cane sugar
pinch sea salt
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Melt butter in a skillet. Add pecans and 1 tsp sea salt. Cook and stir for about 6-8 minutes over medium low heat until pecans are toasted, golden and fragrant. Remove from the heat and remove the pecans from the butter. Cover and chill them in the refrigerator. You may save the flavor infused butter for use in another recipe, like pecan waffles or pancakes.
(What follows with the remaining ingredients is also the recipe for Simple Vanilla ice cream.)
In a medium bowl or in a blender, mix with hand mixer/blender on low speed to combine the milk, sugar, and salt until the sugar has completely dissolved. Stir in the cream and vanilla. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours until cold, or overnight.
Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Just before mixing is finished, add in the reserved pecans and mix in completely. The ice cream will be soft and creamy. To cure and have firm ice cream, store the ice cream in an airtight container and freeze for about 2 hours or overnight. Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving.
I have found that these simple ice creams stay fairly scoopable, even straight from the freezer.