Butter Pecan Ice Cream So Good You’ll Slap Your Momma

I’m not one that readily resorts to slapping anyone, my mom in particular, but it becomes an involuntary reflex after tasting this homemade ice cream for the first time!!! I’m merely making this public safety warning to maintain family relations! This is, BY FAR, THE BEST flavored homemade ice cream I have EVER tasted and I’ve tasted a LOT of homemade ice cream!!! This is so SIMPLE and so WONDERFUL you’ll have to share the recipe with your friends just to convince them it’s not from a carton!!!

Something you need to keep in mind before you start making this ice cream is to be sure the insert to your countertop ice cream maker has been in the freezer for the recommended time. I’m not, by nature, an organized person. It was always such a bummer to want to try a recipe, but wouldn’t because I’d have to wait several hours for the insert to be ready. I finally got smart and started storing it in the freezer. Now, regardless of when I get a wild hair to make a frozen treat, I’m ready to rock n’ roll! That makes me feel so organized!! But if you’re using the old-fashioned crank or electric, no worries.  So with no further ado, I give you the line-up of ingredients:

1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 – 1 teaspoon maple flavoring

Unless the pecan halves you buy are already toasted (cheater), be sure to toast them. It’s really easy to do and dramatically changes the flavor of the nuts – it’s a step you don’t want to skip just because you’ve never done it before. You can actually do this one of two ways; either in the oven or on top of the stove. To roast them in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pecans out on a cookie sheet (make sure it’s a single layer) and pop them in for about 5 to 7 minutes. To tell when they’re “roasted”, when you take them out of the oven and stick your nose up close,  you’ll get an aroma of the pecans. NOTE: There is a distinct difference between “aroma” of roasted pecans and the “smell” of burnt pecans. It takes only a second to take the pecans from “aroma” to “smell” so be careful. It’s not something you want to stick in the oven and go touch base with everybody on Facebook. Stay in the kitchen, set the time for 5 minutes and check on them. If you don’t get the aroma at the end of 5 minutes, stick them back in and reset the timer at 1 minute intervals. Keep in mind that all ovens are different. Don’t panic if yours takes maybe closer to 10 minutes. For the stove top, put them in a skillet (single layer) over medium heat and just stir them frequently. Don’t get distracted by something else – stay very close and stir them often. Stick your head over the skillet and fan the air up toward your nose with your hand. When the aroma hits you, they’re done. Regardless of how you roast them, as soon as they’re done, take them out of the pan immediately and onto a plate or cutting board to cool.  See, it’s easy and you’ll sound like a pro when you explain this process to your friends!!  You can do this – trust me. Our son, Tate, roasted these!

This is my “Equipment Corner”. Our countertop ice cream mixer is a Hamilton Beach. It was on sale at the end of summer a few years ago, and, since I didn’t get a countertop ice cream mixer for Christmas the year before, I grabbed this one up fast. Is it the best out there, you ask. Nah, but it suits our needs until, hopefully, this Christmas. I’d love to have the Cuisinart – ahem, hint, hint to my hubby. This H.B. is a noisy bugger, the motor seems like it needs to be a little more substantial and the paddle is a little too flimsy for my liking. The motor makes the paddle spin in one direction for a little bit, then reverses. As the mixture gets thicker, the paddle reverses more frequently until, when its ready to give up it’s luscious load, it just goes back and forth and back and forth like it’s possessed. It comes apart easily enough for quick clean-up. There really aren’t any areas that are hard to reach to clean. We’ve made sherbet in it and it worked really well. I don’t really have anything to compare it to, other than the crank kind, but with the H.B., the center is left, well, juicy. I’m hoping that after reading reviews, the Cuisinart doesn’t do that. If anybody has any suggestions or experience with other brands I’d love to hear about them. I like to make informed decisions – I need every opportunity to feel organized.

Whip the heavy whipping cream using either a stand or hand mixer, with the whisk attachment, on the highest setting. NOTE: Make sure the heavy whipping cream is very cold. Anything less than very cold could get you homemade butter. In other words, don’t use it right when you get home from the grocery store (except if you live REALLY close to the store, which is a totally foreign concept for me).  I put our heavy whipping cream, half-and-half and buttermilk in the very back of the top shelf; that’s the coldest spot in our fridge. And since you need to take out a small loan just to buy all three at the same time, I want to keep them as cold and fresh as I possibly can for as long as I possibly can.

The goal in whipping the heavy cream is to have less than stiff peaks but more than soft peaks, which I guess would be “stoft” peaks. I bet this new term will be in Martha Stewart’s next book on cookery.

In a separate bowl, pour in the sweetened condensed milk.  I was gonna edit out all the other “distractions” on the kitchen table so you’d think I was organized but then you already know better. When I get a wild hair to make something, I can always push things aside enough for a bowl. I’m so ashamed Flylady.

Combine the cooled, perfectly roasted, pecans into the sweetened condensed milk.  And no, the remote plays no part in this recipe.

Add the melted butter and mix thoroughly.  That’s my hubby helping. We’re a family that likes to cook together (along with the rule that if you don’t help you get stuck with the dishes is quite the incentive!).

This recipe calls for maple flavoring. Now I have to admit I haven’t been a fan of maple flavoring since I can remember, but, I’ve decided to revisit this flavor and give it another chance. We use this brand which is easily found at Wallyworld. I think that if you add the full teaspoon the recipe originally called for, the ice cream tastes more like it has coffee in it. However, by adding only 3/4 of a teaspoon, it tastes more like butter pecan ice cream from the store. Just sayin. It’s something you’ll need to experiment with to suit your own taste.

It’s really dark stuff, huh. It gives the ice cream that nice rich color.

Dump in all of the “stoftly” whipped heavy cream.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the pecan mixture. Try not to deflate the cream as best you can.

Ahhhh, here we go! That’s just about combined completely. Now at this point, a bowl of this would be just fine with me. But, we’re making ice cream so off to the ice cream mixer we go.

It takes about 15 to 20 minutes until the mixer acts like it’s possessed, which tells you it’s mixed and frozen as far as it can take it. In our mixer anyway, the center won’t be set. Either remove the insert, cover with plastic wrap and foil and set it in the freezer for about 1 hour.  Or, you can transfer the ice cream from the insert, put it in a container, mix it thoroughly and freeze. NOTE: I don’t particularly care to freeze it in the insert. For one thing, since the insert is already very, very cold, the ice cream sticks around the edge which makes it so hard to get out when it’s frozen solid. Additionally, the insert is kinda narrow which doesn’t give you a lot of room to scoop it out. Also, if you take it out of the insert you can incorporate the not so frozen with the really frozen before you put it in the container. Then there’s a spoon and spatula to lick too!!

I have to apologize for this picture. I couldn’t wait for it to freeze completely, hence it looks rather melted on the surface but it is SUPERB!!! It’s SUPERB before it goes into the ice cream mixer or afterward, even if it’s not frozen all the way through (that’s my favorite). This will last in your freezer for about a day, if you have a padlock! Anyway you dish it up, it’s fantastic!!!  NOTE: Just keep your distance from those with whom you’re sharing this, especially if your momma’s anywhere close!

SERVING SUGGESTION: I would recommend that if it is frozen solid, set it out on the counter about 15 minutes before serving or, if the container is microwave safe, you can nuke the whole container for a about 20 seconds or so so it’s easier to spoon out.


Butter Pecan Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 – 1 teaspoon maple flavoring

1. Toast the pecans

2. In a large bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until it reaches just a bit beyond soft peaks but before it reaches the stiff peak stage.

3. In a separate large bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk, cooled toasted pecans, melted butter and maple flavoring.

4. Fold the whipping cream into the pecan mixture.

5. Load mixture into ice cream mixer until machine quits.

6. If needed, freeze mixture until frozen completely, either in the insert or move to another container.


4 Replies to “Butter Pecan Ice Cream So Good You’ll Slap Your Momma”

  1. This looks so tasty! I am REALLY enjoying your blog- please keep up the good work! I got the Cuisinart for my birthday a couple of years ago and LOVE it! I also freeze the canister in the freezer so when the whim strikes I’m ready to go. IF you want to take it for a test drive and borrow it for a bit, just let me know! Thanks for the entertainment 🙂

  2. I have the Cuisinart, both the basic “round” one and the fancier stainless steel “square” one that has 3 settings. Both give a “soft serve” mushy type product, and both recommend transferring to a freezer container to harden. Hate that part.

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