We’re still having fun with our new ice-cream maker attachment. I am surprised our local grocery stores haven’t called and found out why their ice-cream freezer is still full. Red and I don’t think that we can go back to commercially made ice-cream after tasting our very own homemade ice-cream! As many of my readers might notice, I don’t necessarily have sweet tooth. I love baking and making sweets, but Red usually takes care of some of them–and we send them off to our friends. But ice-cream, I must tell you, I love them!
There hasn’t really been any ice-cream that I don’t enjoy, well, maybe the low sugar type. I don’t know why I even bothered, but I tried some version of it once before. I also love caramel on my ice-cream, which is odd I know, considering I don’t have sweet tooth. I also don’t go crazy for chocolate, but I love caramel topping. When I saw this recipe in Barefoot Contessa Parties, I showed the page to Red and asked, “What do you think about this?” And next time we were in the grocery store, Red quickly gathered two large cartoon of heavy cream. “For the caramel ice-cream,” he said, as he put those two cartons lovingly in our giant cart at Sam’s.
This recipe yielded a generous 2-quarts, and took a little bit time to prep. So make sure you plan ahead and know how long it may take you to get this done. But trust me, this ice-cream is worth the wait! If you love pecan pie, caramel, or the two flavors combination together, this dessert is for you. This also doesn’t have the egg/custard-texture that makes it smooth and silky, but I am okay with that in exchange for great burst of flavor. Go ahead and try it and let me know if you agree… it is super addictive!!
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups pecan halves (10 ounces)
6-7 ounces of best-quality sweet chocolate, diced (I used Valrhona)
Place 1/2 cup of water and the sugar in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and cook over low heat, without stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil until the sugar turns a warm magaony or caramel color, 3-5 minutes (mine took closer to 7-8 mins). Do not stir, but swirl the pan occasionally so the caramel cooks evenly.
Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. The caramel is very hot; and the mixture will bubble violently, then solidify. Don’t worry. Return it to low heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the caramel dissolves, about 5-7 mins ((mine took closer to 10 mins). Add the vanilla. Pour into a container and refrigerate until very cold.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roast the pecans on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, until crisp. Cool, chop, mix with the diced chocolate and store in the freezer until ready to use.
Freeze the caramel mixture in an ice-cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions (it may take several batches). When it is frozen, add the cold chopped pecans and chocolate and mix in completely. Transfer to quart containers and store in the freezer until ready to serve.
Makes 2 quarts.