I recently decided to try and make homemade ice cream. I also decided to buy an ice cream making-appliance. I didn’t want an elaborate machine or one that was too large. America’s Test Kitchen recommended the Cuisinart Ice-21, so I went with that recommendation. Turns out the appliance was very easy to use and made the ice cream exactly as described. I also watched a YouTube video prior to making the ice cream just to be sure of what I was doing.

I followed a recipe for making a sugar free version but I found that my first batch became very hard in the freezer. I did some research and the Cuisinart manual said that homemade ice cream does become quite hard in the freezer and needs to be left on the counter for 20-30 minutes before serving. I also learned that you can add some special ingredients to help the ice cream retain its softness, such as more heavy cream than milk, guar gum powder, fiber syrup, and vodka. The second batch was very successful with the addition of the fiber syrup and guar gum.

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Makes about 1 ½ quarts

Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup powdered monk fruit sweetener or regular sugar
¼ teaspoon guar gum
¼ cup clear fiber syrup
2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Steps prior to making the recipe:

  1. The freezer bowl must be completely frozen before beginning the process.. Before freezing, wash and dry the bowl. The length of time needed to reach the frozen state depends on how cold the freezer is. It is recommended that the freezer bowl be placed in the back of the freezer where it is coldest. Be sure to place the freezer bowl on a flat surface in its upright position for even freezing. Generally, freezing time is 24 hours. Shake the bowl to determine whether it is completely frozen. If you do not hear the liquid within the bowl moving, the cooling liquid is sufficiently frozen. Use the bowl immediately after removing from the freezer. It will begin to quickly defrost once it has been removed from the freezer. Ingredients such as chips and nuts should be added during the last 5 minutes before the recipe is complete. Once the ice cream has begun to thicken, add the ingredients through the ingredient spout at the top
  2. In a mixing bowl or a large measuring cup, combine the guar gum, sugar, and salt. Pour in the milk, cream. Fiber syrup and vanilla. Using a hand mixer on low speed thoroughly combine the ingredients. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Overnight is best.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the pecans. Cook over medium-low heat until the pecans are lightly toasted, stirring frequently, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan from the heat to cool to room temperature. With a spatula spread the pecans on a sheet of foil and set aside.

Turn the ice cream maker on; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl through the spout at the top and let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved pecans and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

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