Spring may be taking her time. That’s just fine. These cold nights and warm days are perfect for making maple syrup.
April is Maple Madness Month around here. What better kick off than the creamiest Maple Butter Pecan Ice Cream I have ever tasted.
Slightly retro (adapted from an old Gourmet magazine), this is a flavour for your toddler, granny and lover all in one. Buttery toasted pecan flavour mixed with fresh maple and everyone is as happy as a dog in a spring yard.
No need to wait for summer to make ice cream. The hot summer months are better for fruit sorbets and gelatos. Right now, before the tulips pop and the trees flower, a maple treat is just the thing. This one is spectacular.
One of these will help.
An ice cream machine is an indulgence. I know at least one family member who makes the stuff with a crank and he will surely get into heaven before me.
Like my little chopper, this appliance skips elbow grease. I’m for that. This beauty whips up ice cream in 30 minutes. Stop jumping up and down. You heard me.
What comes out is soft and needs to be consumed immediately as it melts on your tongue in a drippy mess. I scrape it out of the inner frozen canister with a rubber spatula and shove it in the freezer to harden it up for delicious scoops later.
I should really lock the freezer door. This is a house of ice cream fanatics.
What you need:
- 3/4 cups pecans
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup pure good quality maple syrup plus 2 extra tablespoons
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
What you do:
- Chop the pecans coarsely.
- Melt butter in a skillet over moderate heat until it gets a hint of brown and gives off a nutty scent. Roast pecans in butter, stirring until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. This is tricky. I like mine almost burnt as it gives a great flavour to the ice cream. But you must watch it very carefully. Sprinkle with a little sea salt to taste. Cool the pecans and keep them in fridge. You can make these 3 days ahead and keep them chilled in a sealable plastic bag.
- In a medium pot, bring cream, milk, maple syrup, and salt just to a boil, stirring now and then. In a bowl beat egg yolks until smooth. Add the hot cream mixture to the eggs in a slow stream and whisk as you do so. Pour it all back into the pot and cook it over low heart, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 170 F. Pour the custard through a sieve into a clean bowl and let it cool down. Stir in vanilla. Cover the custard with plastic wrap and chill until cold, about 4 hours.
- Transfer chilled custard to the ice cream machine and churn until ready-mine takes 25 minutes. Scrape out the soft ice cream to a mixing bowl and fold in the chilled butter pecans. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight freezer-safe container and put in freezer to harden overnight.
This ice cream will last a week in the freezer. Not in this house. Just saying.
Check back here next week for more Maple Madness.