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Pecan Praline Ice Cream

Pecan Praline Ice Cream

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Makes about 1 quart.
By Dennis W. Viau; from a friend’s challenge.

A friend called me with a challenge: Come up with a recipe to make an ice cream with pecan praline. This recipe was the result. He has been coming up with more and more good ideas lately as he thinks more about food and cooking. This ice cream is delicious, one of his best ideas. The extra work of making the praline is well worth the effort.

Equipment Needed:

You will need an ice cream maker, such as the machines with a canister you store in the freezer.

Ingredients:

1 cup (237ml) whole milk or half and half
5 egg yolks from large eggs
1 large egg
½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces (85g) pecans
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions:

Combine the milk, egg yolks, and 1 whole egg in a medium saucepan that will fit inside a larger saucepan. Blend the mixture with a whisk. This will become the ice cream base.

Pour about 1 cup of water into a larger saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low and rest the smaller pan with the milk mixture inside the larger pan to make a double boiler. Stirring constantly, heat the mixture to a temperature of 160°F (71°C). Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and heavy cream. Place the pan in a bowl containing ice and water. Allow to cool thoroughly.

Heat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the pecans 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside. After cooling, set aside about ¼ to 1/3 of the roasted pecans. Leave the larger portion on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Heat the ½ cup (100g) sugar and water in a small saucepan until the liquid comes to a boil and the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking the sugar mixture, without stirring, until the syrup thickens and the temperature rises to the hard crack stage, 310°F (154°C). Pour the hot sugar syrup onto the roasted pecans that are on the baking sheet. Allow to cool.

Place the smaller amount of pecans (set aside earlier) in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Pulse briefly several times until coarsely chopped. Transfer the coarsely chopped nuts to a bowl and set aside. Place the pecan praline (pecans and hard sugar) in the processor and chop well to a fine texture.

Add the finely processed praline to the milk-egg mixture with the two tablespoons of sugar. Combine well. Set up the ice cream maker, start the canister rotating, and pour the ice cream base into the maker through the hole in the top. Churn 15 to 20 minutes until a creamy ice cream forms. Transfer to a storage container. Pour the reserved coarsely chopped pecans into the ice cream and stir only enough to swirl the nuts into the mixture. Place in a freezer to continue freezing. Serve at 6°F to 10°F (-14°C to -12°C).