Brown Butter Ice Cream with candied pecans & chocolate chunks

4 1/2 cups
45 min prep time
12 hrs total time

We added candied toasted pecans and dark chocolate to this brown butter ice cream which makes it an even more decadent treat. Browning the butter makes the ice cream base particularly fragrant and flavorful. It takes a little bit of extra time to make ice cream, but is well worth the effort.


4 oz Vermont Creamery Unsalted Cultured Butter - 82% Butterfat

2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

6 egg yolks

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons egg white

3 tablespoons sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped


  • STEP 1

    Place butter in a medium frying pan and melt completely over medium high heat. Cook the butter, stirring gently, until the milk solids start to turn light brown. The milk solids will brown quickly, so don't be afraid to pull the pan off the heat to slow the browning down if you're unsure how quickly they're toasting. The butter will give off a nutty, toasty, and slightly caramelized scent when browned. Pour the browned butter into a small bowl and set aside.

  • STEP 2

    In a large saucepan, bring the cream and the whole milk to a light simmer. Remove from heat.

  • STEP 3

    In a separate bowl, whisk both the brown and white sugars with the salt. Add in the egg yolks and whisk well. Add the browned butter to the sugar and egg mixture.

  • STEP 4

    Gradually whisk in the warm cream into the sugar and egg mixture as well. Work in small batches at first to help warm the eggs but not scramble them. Return this mixture to your saucepan and heat on medium for 5 minutes. Pour into a heat safe bowl of mason jar and add in vanilla extract. Let cool on counter slightly before storing in the refrigerator to fully chill, at least 6 hours or overnight.

  • STEP 5

    While the ice cream custard is chilling, make the candied pecans. Preheat oven to 300°F. In a small bowl combine the pecans, egg white, 3 tablespoons of the sugar and 1/8th tablespoon of salt. Stir well to coat the pecans, then spread mixture onto a nonstick cookie sheet or parchment paper lined pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring a couple of times to evenly toast. The nuts will be done when they're lightly toasted, and the egg white mixture is almost fully dry. Give the nuts one more toss after removing them from the oven to keep them from sticking to the cookie sheet, and then let cool fully.

  • STEP 6

    Once your ice cream base/custard has cooled completely, process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Layer the thickened ice cream with the chopped chocolate and candied nuts before freezing the ice cream for a few hours to firm up before serving. 

Betsy Thompson

Betsy Thompson_Image

Betsy Thompson

Betsy manages content marketing and creative production at Vermont Creamery and believes that the eyes eat first.  

An avid baker, home cook and artisan cheese devotee, Betsy is at home in the kitchen and behind the lens of her camera, crafting food that tastes as great as it looks. 

Follow her Instagram here!