This Pecan Praline Ice Cream is more of a frozen custard than ice cream. Why custard? Well, we’re using eggs and making a custard base. Rich, smooth, texture from the pecans and extra “treat “ of sweetness form the swirls dulce de leche. Enjoy!
Pecan Praline Ice Cream
1 cup roasted pecan pieces
1- 14 ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk or pre-made “Dulce de Leche” *
4 large egg yolks, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups whole milk
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 or 3 - 2” cinnamon sticks depending on the width
Homemade Dulce de Leche
You may find Mexican style Dulce de Leche depending on where you shop. I always end up making my own, and it’s effortless: using a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, peel off the table from the can. You will not be opening the can so put the can opener away.
Place the can on its side in a medium to large size pot. Cover the can in lukewarm water at least two inches above the top.
Bring the water to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a medium simmer. Always keep an eye on the water level as you want to make sure the can is still covered in water the whole cooking process. We are caramelizing the milk solids (Maillard browning) instead of caramelizing the sugar. That is why the can remains unopened, and a constant covering of water is needed.
After one hour to one hour and a half flip the can over to the other side and cook an additional hour to an hour and a half. ; 2-3 hours total cooking time. Note: I would do more than one can at once. There is so much you can with dulce de leche… including eating it straight out of the can!
Remove the can after cooking and allow it to cool on the counter. Refrigerate overnight before opening and using.
In a hot oven and in a shallow dish roast your pecans until toasted and fragrant. Remove from the oven, cool, and refrigerate.
In a large mixing bowl, add the large egg yolks along with the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Using a wire whisk or hand mixer, beat the eggs until light and creamy.
In a medium-sized pot add the milk, half and half, and cinnamon sticks. Gently scald the milk ( until steam starts to rise), and it comes to a light simmer. Simmer for three minutes careful not to scald the bottom of the pot. Remove the milk from the heat and set aside to steep the cinnamon around 10 minutes.
Again with the whisk temper the hot cinnamon milk into your eggs and sugar, a little at a time while mixing, until the egg mixture is as hot as the scalded cinnamon milk. Pour the custard back into the pot and gently cook on the stove until the custard slightly thickens and can coat the back of a wooden spoon (nappe). Pour the custard (cinnamon sticks too) into a clean nonmetal bowl. Place cling wrap over the surface of the custard to prevent “skin” on top. Allow it to cool, then place in the fridge overnight along with your dulce de leche and roasted pecans.
The next day, or when you are ready, remove the cinnamon sticks and pour the chilled custard into your ice cream maker. Chill the ice cream according to the ice-cream maker’s directions. 10 minutes before the ice cream is ready, add the chilled roasted pecans and continue churning.
Once the ice cream is chilled and somewhat still soft, swirl in the dulce de leche with a butter knife. I found it easy to swirl in half the can one way, and swirl in the remaining half the other way.
Place the ice cream in the freezer and allow to set up at least one hour before serving.