Prepare yourself for the easiest and most delicious butter pecan experience of your life. Every once in a while I come up with an idea that results in a recipe that truly blows me away. This Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe is one of them. It is one of the best things I’ve ever made or tasted. Brown butter just makes everything better – sweet or savory! And this no churn ice cream is no exception. It is so easy! and no churn, which means everyone can make it. Let’s make some.
I’ve had a lifelong love of butter. There is a famous photo of me eating a stick of butter like a banana when I was maybe 3 years old. In fact, when I was little and my dad would feed me bites of butter pecan ice cream, I’d eat around the pecans and tell him how I wished there was “just butter ice cream.” He loved telling me that story. I still wish that, and this recipe minus the pecans would be just that: the ice cream of my childhood dreams. Now that I’ve grown older and wiser, I appreciate and love pecans.
I do have one condition though – do not, I repeat, DO NOT give me untoasted, raw pecans (or any nuts for that matter) in my cookies, cakes, or ice creams. It is truly one of my pet peeves. By taking a few extra minutes you take the flavor from bleh to amazing! Just like browning butter gives it more flavor, toasting nuts just opens up a whole new world of flavor and texture (especially when you toast them in brown butter). Do it. Please.
What do you need to make Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream?
- Heavy Cream
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Cream Cheese
- Brown Butter
- Toasted, Chopped Pecans
The cream cheese is my little secret weapon. It balances the cloying sweetness of condensed milk and contributes to the creamiest, scoopable texture. I originally came up with the idea when I created my blueberry swirl no-churn recipe and it is the only way I’ll make no-churn from now on! It makes it more like “real” ice cream to me.
Putting the Butter in the Butter Pecan
There are so many butter pecan recipes that use butter flavoring or extract to achieve the butter flavor. That just rubs me the wrong way. So when I was trying to figure out how to get the butter flavor into the ice cream, how to really enhance it, brown butter was the obvious answer. Browning butter amplifies the buttery taste and adds a toasty, caramel flavor and aroma. It is such a special ingredient and I have a hard time not adding it to everything.
Bringing it all together
All you do is whip everything (except the pecans) in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer until light, fluffy, and you achieve soft peaks. Then mix in the pecans and transfer to freezer container, cover with plastic, and chill until firm. Easy!
Keep your eyes peeled for some more fun ice cream recipes. It is ALWAYS ice cream season, but the warmer weather definitely has me craving it and dreaming up flavors even more than usual.
Until then, check out these other great recipes from yours truly and some of my favorite blogger friends!
Happy scooping! xo- Anita
PS: I’m also working on my very own Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe! Which is how this recipe came to be. I know, my brain works in mysterious ways sometimes. Can’t wait to share it with you all SOON!
An easy, no-churn ice cream base flavored with toasty browned butter and chopped, toasted pecans. The BEST butter pecan ice cream recipe you’ll ever make!
- 8 ounces (one block) cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup room temperature brown butter
- 14 ounces (one can) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 cups heavy cream – very cold
- 1 cup chopped pecans that have been toasted and cooled
- Place 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter in a sauce pan and melt over medium heat
- Allow butter to melt and foam.
- Continue cooking and stirring occasionally until butter turns a dark amber color. You will have to push the foam aside in order to see the color of the butter underneath.
- Once browned, remove from heat and pour into a heat proof measuring cup. You might need to add a couple tablespoons of soft butter to make up for evaporation during the browning process and ensure you have 1/2 cup.
- Allow to cool to room temperature
- Place one tablespoon of butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. (I just steal a little of the browned butter for this)
- Once melted, add 1 cup chopped pecans and toast, stirring almost constantly, for about 5 minutes until they smell very toasty and nutty.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
For the ice cream:
- Place softened cream cheese, browned butter, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla in stand mixer and mix on medium high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy and no cream cheese chunks remain. You’ll want to stop and scrape the sides and bottom a couple times to make sure it is all mixed.
- Once the mixture is fluffy and totally combined, Scrape sides and bottom of bowl once more and add cold cream. Continue whipping until the mixture is very light and fluffy – much like whipped cream. This should take 2-3 minutes. Don’t be afraid to really let the mixer rip here – you want to incorporate plenty of air.
- Once mixture is very light and very fluffy, remove whisk attachment and gently fold in cooled, chopped pecans.
- Transfer mixture to a freezer-safe container, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in freezer.
- Chill until firm and enjoy!
I freeze this in an 8×8 baking dish. Just make sure whatever you choose has about a 2 quart capacity
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