Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

This butter pecan ice cream recipe was actually designed when a dear friend asked us to make up a recipe for homemade ice cream for her.

We didn’t have one for her favorite flavor – butter pecan – since it was not something we’d ever made. We’ve always been more attracted to pecans in pie than in ice cream. But after playing around a little, we were surprised at the result. This recipe turned out to be such a hit that it’s become one of our most requested flavors.

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

The trick in this recipe is to sauté salted pecans in butter (hence "butter pecan" – who’d have thought?). They need to become lightly browned, but not overcooked and soggy, so you must keep an eye on them. If it seems odd to you to salt the pecans for a desert, trust me here. The saltiness of the nuts plays off the sweetness of the ice cream. It just won’t taste the same without the salt.


50 gr. (3.5 Tbsp) of butter
1½ C pecans
½ tsp salt

4 eggs
1 C dark brown sugar
2 C cream
2 C milk

  1. Melt butter in sauté pan.

  2. Mix pecans with salt.

  3. Sauté salted pecans in butter until nicely browned.

  4. Remove pecans from pan with a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl and cool.

  5. Reserve the butter from the pan in a bowl, allow to cool.

  6. Beat sugar with eggs until frothy.

  7. Add reserved butter and mix well.

  8. Warm milk and cream in a sauce pan.

  9. Add the warm milk and cream slowly to the egg mixture, mixing constantly.

  10. Return the mixture to pan and cook slowly, stirring gently, until custard reaches about 175 F (80 C). Do not allow mixture to simmer. When the custard is ready, it should coat the back of a spoon.

  11. Set a sieve over a bowl and strain the custard.

  12. Set a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper over the surface of the custard and chill for several hours.

  13. Pour into ice cream maker.

  14. When ice cream is done, transfer to container and fold in pecans.

  15. Allow to ripen in freezer for several hours.

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