Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Maple Pecan Ice Cream

Mark and I were watching Iron Chef America a few days ago and the secret ingredient was...hmmm. I think it was the Thanksgiving episode, where there wasn't one secret ingredient. One of the chefs made maple pecan ice cream as part of his dessert, and we were inspired.

Ice cream is quite easy to make at home, and I think trying out new flavors is a lot of fun. In the past, I've made lemon verbena sorbet, cantaloupe ice cream (mmmmm), vanilla bean, peach, strawberry, dark chocolate, and probably a few others. We didn't do much this summer as we were dieting, but who cares about dieting when the weather turns cold? (Just kidding.)

Anyhow, the ice cream was delicious, as was the caramel ice cream we made to go with apple crisp Monday night. (Maybe I'll get to that soon, too.)

I thought I'd share this little gem with you, though, in case you want a break from all the starch that's arriving at your door. It won't give you a break from the sugar, but it isn't overly sweet. In fact, the pecans taste positively savory. If you have an ice cream maker, don't wait to try it. If you don't, you should add one to your Christmas wish list. I like mine.

Maple Pecan Ice Cream

3 c. half and half
2 egg yolks
1/2 c. - 2/3 c. maple syrup (we did 1/2 c., and it's very mildly sweet, which I would do again)
1 c. chopped, toasted pecans

Heat the half-and-half in a saucepan over medium heat until nearly simmering.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the maple syrup. Slowly, while whisking, drizzle in half of the half-and-half, then quickly add the rest, whisk together, and return it to the saucepan. Cook, stirring, until it begins to thicken just a bit. It shouldn't really boil, but it might come very close, and look like it's starting to simmer a bit. If you cook it much longer than that, the eggs will curdle. Yuck. Pour into the newly-cleaned medium bowl.

Make a water bath (if you're impatient with cooling, like me) in a large bowl with lots of ice and some water. Set the medium bowl in the large bowl and stir until cooled to refrigerator temperature. Or, if you have all the time in the world and are not extremely anxious to eat this in frozen form, allow the custard to cool in your refrigerator until it's completely chilled.

Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machine's instructions. Remove from the machine, place in a container, and freeze in the freezer for another half hour to four hours. Enjoy.

1 comment:

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

I. Will. So. Be. Making. That!