Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream

A few weeks back, Patricia and I made this angel food cake which was delicious.  It also left me with 9 egg yolks. 9 I say!  I gave Eli the choice of what to do with the yolks; pot de creme, lemon curd, custard, ice cream.  He, of course, chose the ice cream.  He and I sifted through David’s book, The Perfect Scoop and it was a toss up between two flavors. I have made a lot of David’s ice creams and I really didn’t want to repeat a recipe.  The Butterscotch Pecan got the final vote.  And I am so glad it did.

The key word in this recipe is “butter”.  The butter mixed with the brown sugar is the flavor profile that resonates on the back of your tongue, long after the ice cream has left your mouth.  Mind you, I am not a huge ice cream fan. Generally, I pass on this decadent dessert and go for the apple tart with caramel sauce or a piece of chocolate or the gourmet doughnut(fried-yes, I love a really, really good doughnut).  This ice cream is like no other.  It is in a class all by itself and this ice cream could send me to a Weight Watchers meeting each week: confessing that my daily points were consumed with a scoop of this ice cream.

We were going to friends and we were already bringing lots of treats. I said to myself could I possibly bring another article of “food”. Yet, there was no way I could, with good conscious, keep this ice cream in the house.  Eli was irate with me, but I could see myself pulling a Nigela Lawson.  At the end of each episode,  you see her, in her jammies, in the kitchen-all lights are off except for the light from the fridge-and she is pillaging the leftovers.  That would be me, with this ice cream – one spoonful at a time.  I had to “let it go”.   There will me many more occasions to make ice cream(Passover is around the corner, therefore macaroons are in our horizon, meaning lots and lots of yolks), and when that occasion arises, it will be this Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream that I make first!


Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream


ice cream
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup (170g) brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups (500 ml)heavy cream
3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
6 (101 g) large egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. scotch whisky
buttered pecans

buttered pecans
1 1/2 Tbsp.(25 g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (150 g) pecans, chopped coarse
1/4 tsp. kosher salt


for the ice cream:
• melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. stir in brown sugar and salt. mix well.
• add 1 cup of heavy cream and the milk.  warm mixture, but do not boil.
• pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a glass bowl.  place a strainer on top. set aside.
• ladle small portions of the hot cream mixture into the beaten egg yolks, whisking the whole time ( you don’t want the egg yolks to cook and curdle. whisk vigorously). keep adding the milk mixture until you temper the eggs. pour this mixture back into the saucepan.
• over low-medium heat, stir the mixture, constantly, with a heat proof spatula. the custard is ready when the mixture thickens and the coats the back of the spatula without disappearing.  I like to run my finger along the back of the spatula.  you know it is ready when your finger track remains on the back of the spatula for at least 10 seconds.
• pour the hot custard through the strainer into the bowl of cream.  stir to combine.  add the vanilla and whisky.  cool completely and then place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl, pressing the plastic wrap on the top of the custard.  put in the fridge until cooled completely.
• put the custard in your chilled ice cream maker and mix for 30 minutes(I have a simple Cuisinart and it gets the job done).
• mix in the buttered pecans, transfer to a freezer safe container and let set.

for the buttered pecans:
• preheat oven to 350*
• melt the butter in a small skillet.  add the pecans and coat.  sprinkle with salt.
• spread nut mixture on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 1o minutes. let cool completely before adding to the ice cream.

The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com

Ice Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream:

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream – Cherry Tea Cakes
Chocolate Cinnamon + Plum Ice Cream – Pease Pudding
Salted Chocolate Peanut + Pistachio Ice Cream – Cannelle et Vanille
Dark Chocolate Ice Cream – Passionate about Baking
Chocolate Chip Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream – Technicolor Kitchen
Brown Bread Ice Cream – David Lebovitz

Showing 22 comments
  • Kim

    Wow! I mean WOW! I’m a huge huge fan of David Lebovits book… It’s definitly one of my favorite. This ice cream will be on my table as soon as possible, because it looks SOOOOOOOOOO good… Now I wish I would have some…

    • Susan

      Kim – seriously one of the best ice creams I have ever made. and I don’t even really like ice cream and I cannot stop thinking about this one! yummy stuff!

  • Allison [Haute Box]

    I want this for dessert every night this week. I love that Nigella sneaks a lil snack at midnight. I love her!

  • Kristen

    Eli has great taste! I need to get David’s book… I’m sure I’d love all the recipes… maybe too much!

  • Reply

    I am with you girl, there is no way I could comfortably sleep with this ice cream in my freezer. I would be at it constantly! xo

  • Reply

    Oh wow this sounds decadent and delicious! I need to break out my old crank ice cream maker. The hand cranking burns enough calories, right? 😉

    • Susan

      Heather – this ice cream would be worth the arm workout! It’s that good!

  • Nourishing Nancy

    I found you through Maria’s stumbleupon page….wow, so glad I did! I will be trying this recipe with the kids this weekend. Thanks so much for this gourmet ice cream recipe. Cheers!

    • Susan

      Hi Nancy, thanks for stopping by. Stumble Upon has forced us all to become a part of such a great community!

  • Nancy@acommunaltable

    Hi Susan,

    Loved the photos of this ice cream and I am with you – if I made ice cream frequently I’d be in line at Weight Watchers – but it would be so worth it!!!!

  • Patricia Scarpin

    Oh, I’ve had an eye on this ice cream forever! And if I’m not mistaken I have pecans in my fridge. So decadent, Suz! If I were around I would have the same reaction Eli did – no sharing of such delicious treat! 😀

  • Lesli

    kind of unrelated to the yummy dessert above, but would you have a recommendation on a kitchen scale by chance? Thanks Susan!!

    • the urban baker

      Hi Lesli, believe it or not, mine (of 5 years)just died and I am thinking of getting this one on Amazon: http://is.gd/Nm96YT. I have heard and read really good things about it and I am going to give it a shot as it is not a huge investment. Let me know what you decide to do! ss

      • Lesli

        thanks Susan! I was looking at the Oxo but this is a way better deal and it sounds like a good one!

  • elana horwich

    don’t like ice cream either….but with butter…..mmmmm anything with cold butter!!!

  • jocelyn

    ok, i guess my next purchase is an ice cream maker. this sounds sooooooo good and what a great way to use egg yolks.

    thanks again for the inspiration.

  • Kayla

    This recipe was incredible. For a non-dairy version, I used butter-flavored margarine (non-trans fat), non-dairy whipping cream, and soy milk. Absolutely delicious!!!! Since the whipping cream was sweetened I think I would reduce the sugar slightly, but using regular heavy cream I’m sure would have been fine. This one is a keeper!

    • Susan

      that sounds amazing. This is my eldest son’s favorite ice cream. Glad you could convert it.

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