Butterscotch pecan ice cream with brown butter - brown butter and pecan flavor infused throughout the ice cream, this is the BEST butter pecan ice cream ever!
Cut the butter into smaller pieces and place them in a non-stick saucepan. Heat over medium / medium high heat to melt the butter. Keep cooking the butter until the milk solids turn dark golden in color (stage 3 in attached image). Remove the butter from the pan and transfer into a bowl, and allow the milk solids to settle to the bottom. Skim off the melted butter until you ONLY have caramelized butter solids, and about 2 tbsp of butter liquid. Do not throw away the butter liquid.
Transfer the brown butter (milk solids + 2 tbsp of butter liquid) back into the saucepan and set aside until you’re ready to make the ice cream base.
Heat 2 tbsp of the skimmed off butter liquid in a non-stick pan. When the butter is heated, add the 10 oz pecans and toss until nicely toasted. This can take between 5 - 15 minutes depending on your stove.
Once pecans are toasted, remove about a ¼ of the pecans from the pan (about 4 oz / 115 g). Set this aside for the custard base.
Sprinkle the 3 tbsp sugar over the remaining pecans in the pan. Keep moving the pecans around in the hot pan until the sugar dissolves and lightly coats the pecans.
Immediately transfer the pecans onto a parchment paper or plate, to cool down.
Chop the pecans into smaller pieces, and store in an air-tight container.
Heat the caramelized butter solids in the saucepan until warm (not hot). Then remove from the heat.
Add the ¾ cup of brown sugar, 3 tbsp molasses, ¾ tsp salt, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, and the 5 egg yolks into the saucepan. Whisk well until you have a thick, emulsified paste. There will be undissolved sugar in the paste, which is OK, but there should not be any yolk clumps.
Add the 1 ½ cups milk and 1 ½ cups cream into the paste while whisking to make sure it mixes really well. Now add the 4 oz toasted pecans to the milk as well.
Heat the custard over medium heat while whisking frequently. Heat until the mixture registers at 165 - 170°F, or starts steaming (but not boiling).
Remove the custard from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, scoop out the pecans in the custard using a slotted spoon.
Whisk the remaining custard (to mix all the caramelized milk solids) and pour into your ice cream maker. Churn the ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions.
During the last 2 - 5 minutes of churning, add the chopped caramelized butter pecans and let them mix into the ice cream.
Transfer the ice cream into a container and freeze for at least 4 hours until frozen.
Serve as is, or with extra chopped pecans. Enjoy!