Summer is coming to a close. (At least we can hope.) Help pass the remaining steamy days with some ice, some rock salt and a big container of heavy whipping cream. This week, we'll give you some homemade ice cream recipes to try before summer's over. Today's recipe comes from Epicurious.com and was originally printed in Gourmet magazine in November 2002.
2 cups pecans (1/2 lb.), finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans in a shallow baking pan in middle of oven until fragrant and a shade darker, 7 to 8 minutes. Add butter and salt to hot pecans and toss until butter is melted, then cool pecans completely (they will absorb butter).
Whisk together brown sugar and cornstarch, then add eggs, whisking until combined. Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, then add to egg mixture in a stream, whisking constantly, and transfer custard to saucepan.
Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170 to 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes (do not let boil).
Immediately pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla, then cool, stirring occasionally. Chill custard, its surface covered with wax paper, until cold, at least 3 hours.
Freeze custard in ice cream maker until almost firm. Stir together ice cream and pecans in a bowl, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.