Buttermilk Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream


In the summer there is nothing better than homemade ice cream. Really, there is nothing better all year round but add it to the broiling heat of summer and you get the extra benefit of all that cool, crisp freshness. I made numerous cobblers and pies for this past July 4th holiday and a little homemade ice cream was a must have. I paired this ice cream with a wonderful Sweet Buttermilk Biscuit Topped Peach Cobbler.

For this particular recipe you have to love Buttermilk to be sure. You can taste the tangy zip of the Buttermilk (since it isn’t cooked) and it is part of the stellar flavor of this dish. Add a little bourbon and pecans and you’re all set for a summer favorite. One friend of mine commented that this tastes like a Butter Pecan Ice Cream and it certainly does, with the added bonus of a bourbon zing. Yum!

Yield: 1 Quart of Ice Cream

    5 Egg Yolks
    3/4 Cup Sugar, divided
    1 1/2 Cups Cream
    1/2 Cup 2% Milk
    1 1/4 Cups Buttermilk
    1 1/2 Tsp Real Vanilla Extract
    4 Tsp Bourbon (I recommend Four Roses, Woodford Reserve or Maker’s 46)
    1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans

    1. In a medium tempered glass bowl (Pyrex) whisk the Yolks together with 1/2 of the Sugar.
    2. In a large, heavy sauce pan stir together remaining Sugar, Cream and 1% Milk. Bring the cream mixture to a simmer over medium high heat, then reduce temperature to medium low.
    3. Scoop 1/2 cup of the cream mixture into bowl with eggs, pour mixture in slowly while lightly whisking eggs consistently. Add another 1/2 cup of the cream mixture to eggs and continue to whisk. This step tempers the eggs and slowly heats them up without “cooking” them too quickly.
    4. Begin lightly whisking the cream mixture and slowly pour egg mixture from the bowl back into the cream pan while consistently whisking.
    5. Cook the cream mixture over medium low heat, stirring constantly and being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan, until mixture is appropriately thickened for the custard. To test an egg based custard you want to ensure a clear path is held when you run your finger across the back of a spoon. When it is thick enough to hold a clear line, remove from heat.
    6. Have an ice bath ready by placing a clean glass bowl (heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the water) inside a larger bowl filled with water and ice. Place a fine mesh sieve over the glass bowl and pour hot custard through the sieve into the clean glass bowl in the center. Allow to cool in the ice bath for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooling.
    7. Once cooled, cover custard and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight. You want the custard cooled completely before you put it in an ice cream maker.
    8. When the custard is cool and you’re ready to freeze, whisk in Cold Buttermilk, Vanilla and Bourbon.
    9. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to its instructions. Add Pecans during last minute of churning and freezing. Ice Cream should be about the consistency of soft serve. Do not over churn.
    10. Remove ice cream from freezer bowl immediately and place in a food grade container with a lid. Smooth it out evenly and freeze until it reaches desired consistency, usually a couple of hours. Remove from freezer, scoop, top with chosen goodies or put on your favorite cake, pie or cobbler. Ice cream keeps for up to one week. Enjoy!

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