The Perfect Butter Pecan Ice Cream for Pie

I love butter pecan ice cream, but I never order it at an ice cream parlour or get cravings for it on its own. In my food memory it is inseparably linked to blueberry pie. A flavor combination I came upon by accident in Maine one summer, when the lobster shack we were at ran out of the customary vanilla.

One of my favorite food road trips was to drive the coast of Maine for the overt purpose of enjoying the beautiful scenery. In reality, the not-so-secret mission was to eat as much lobster and blueberry pie as was humanly possible. Those trips may have been where it first dawned on me that even (or maybe especially) simple dishes like blueberry pie held the possibility of infinite variation. That small differences in technique and quality of ingredients are easily discernible. Of course this is the essence of connoisseurship of any kind, and a great source of pleasure in my life now, but you are not born knowing this, and I grew up in a family that had a weekly TV dinner night.

The point of the story is that butter pecan and blueberry pie are one of those flavor combinations made in heaven. The butter in the ice cream, enhances the butter flavors of the pie crust, and the pecans add a textural component, and nuttiness, that complement the soft, sweet, blueberry filling. So you can understand why I think a great version of this ice cream needs to have a lot of butter and nuts in it.

After a lot of searching, I have come across this recipe by Elsie Bauer on Simply Recipes that should be perfect for serving with pie. It uses 6 tablespoons of butter, that Elsie takes full advantage of by browning first before adding to the egg custard. She also uses an generous cup of pecans for a quart and a half of ice cream, and  includes a comment on them that I don’t want you to miss..

Note, if you want an extra punch to this ice cream, brush the pecans with melted butter and sprinkle with salt before roasting.

As far as I’m concerned, you ALWAYS want extra punch!

Butter Pecan Ice Cream on Simply Recipes
Now of course I have to find a great recipe for blueberry pie. I like fillings that just barely hold together (minimally gelatinous), with surprising, but light spicing. My attempts at pie crust have so far been dismal, but I have heard very good reports about this one and plan to try it next.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Butter, pecans / 1.5 quarts

Mix Prep Time: 40 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 10 min

Brown Butter Ice Cream


I am a total push-over for what I think of as elemental ice creams. Ones made with a few simple, earthy ingredients: cream, sugar, eggs and their derivatives, egg custard, caramel, scorched milk etc… So when I found Pim Techamuanvivit’s recipe for browned butter ice cream on Chez Pim I considered my day made! To quote her:

My brown butter ice cream recipe is a result of an experiment. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a quest: one to see how much brown butter I can get away with adding into a pretty classic, basic ice cream base recipe. I want my brown butter ice cream to actually taste like brown butter, not just hinting at it.

Talk about sympatico to my own approach to making ice cream and cooking in general. She can count me as a new fan. One thing I want to point out about this recipe before turning you over to her, is the obvious and ingenious use of a blender to mix everything together, incorporate all that fat, and temper the eggs when making the custard. What a great process simplifying technique! I’m going to be using it going forward. Now on to the recipe:

Brown Butter Ice Cream, or, how to make ice cream in a blender on Chez Pim

Brown Butter Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Brown Butter / 1 1/2 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 25 min
Total Time: 55 min