Amaretto Ice Cream With Liquor Poached Pecans and Hazelnut Swirl
My baby sister, Caitlin, turned twenty one this past weekend. Being the youngest of four girls, we three elders knew that we had to pull out all the stops for her coming of age celebration. The night before, we counted down to midnight with the help of some very special desserts.
My sisters, Heather and Sarah, whipped up an amazing booze cake made from Guiness and topped with Baileys Frosting and Whiskey Ganache. I believe the original recipe was from Smitten Kitchen. It tasted amazing. A dense chocolate cake with the sophisticated flair of liquor infused icing. To go with it, I made up a batch of very special ice cream. One that might just haunt my dreams until the next batch is whipped up.
Makes about 1 quart
For the Pecans
- 1/8 cup amaretto
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 pinch salt
For the Ice Cream
- 1 cup milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons amaretto
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/8 cup Nutella spread
To prepare the pecans, combine them with the amaretto, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until liquid has reduced completely. Transfer to a dish to cool.
Combine milk, cream, sugar, and salt in a double boiler and cook over high heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl. When the milk mixture heats through, pour about 1/8 cup at a time into the egg yolks, stirring continuously until the egg mixture is heated through. Pour the egg mixture into the double boiler. Stir continually with a rubber spatula until the custard cooks through, becoming thick enough to trace or coat the spatula.
Cool the custard as quickly as possible. Transfering the double boiler insert to an ice bath is a great option. As soon as the custard reached room temperature, mix in vanilla extract, almond extract, and amaretto. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. When it has set, transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and churn for 45 minutes, or the time indicated by the machine's instructions.
Meanwhile, heat the nutella in the double boiler until it is liquified. When the ice cream is done churning, mix in the pecans. The best way to add the nutella is by layering. As you are packing the soft ice cream into its freezer container, drizzle in layers of melted nutella. Once you have finished, allow your ice cream to set in the freezer for at least 3 hours. Ice cream that includes alcohol will be VERY soft. Make sure you allow it to deep freeze before serving.
I recommend serving this ice cream, and others that include rich alcohol flavors in small portions. A little will go a long way, so try serving it in one or two small scoop portions.