Brown Butter Ice Cream


December 24, 2010 by Flora Dawn

My family loves ice cream. I think it is okay, but it’s never been my favorite dessert. That is, except for the real, homemade kind.

I never got all excited about ice cream as a kid, except when my dad would pull out the rock salt and the hand-crank ice cream maker that was stored in the basement. Maybe it was the thrill of making it ourselves, maybe it was that it actually tasted way better than the 99 cent stuff that came in the shape or a cardboard rectangle. I guess I was a food snob even then.

I can’t say I make ice cream often, but when I do, I really go for the good stuff. Lots of cream, lots of eggs, lots of sugar, and in this case, some butter.

I got the Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook recently and there is a recipe for Brown Butter and Peanut Brittle Ice Cream. It sounded so delicious, I had to make it.

The Brown Butter Ice Cream is great on it’s own; in fact my youngest daughter drank a cup full with a straw before it even went in the freezer, declaring it the “best milkshake ever.” However, with the addition of Peanut Brittle it is simply amazing. I had some Holiday Pecans on hand, so half the batch actually got pecans. Yummy! The flavor and color reminded me of Maple Nut flavored ice cream, only better. This is definitely a dessert I will be making again and again.

The butter after being browned and strained.

The custard should be this thick.

Straining the custard into a bowl setting in an ice bath.

The ice cream after the ice cream maker.

Brown Butter Ice Cream and Peanut Brittle. YUMMY!

Brown Butter Ice Cream

This recipe does require dirtying a few dishes and needs to be made 4-6 hours before serving; I always make it a day ahead.

  • 6 TB unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk (I just use 1% , but whole would be better)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped peanut brittle or candied pecans, optional
  1. In a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, melt butter over medium-low heat until dark amber, but not burned. This takes about 5-6 minutes. It should smell nutty and have bits of brown. Pour through a fine strainer into a small bowl.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring cream and milk to a simmer.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugars, and salt until blended. Add the brown butter and stir to blend. Gradually whisk in hot cream and return to the large saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat (do not boil) until it thickens; about 5 minutes.
  4. Strain the custard into a large bowl (set over a larger bowl or ice water to speed up the cooling process). When custard is cool, stir in vanilla and process in an ice cream maker according the manufacturer’s directions (this takes about 30 minutes in mine). At this point it has the consistency similar to a milk shake, and can be enjoyed as such!
  5. Transfer ice cream to an airtight, freezer-safe container and stir in peanut brittle. Freeze for about 4 hours or until firm. Can be made up to 2 days in advance.

2 thoughts on “Brown Butter Ice Cream

  1. Rhonda D. says:

    Yum! We love ice cream in the summer. Since we raise both goats and chickens and have milk and eggs we do goat milk ‘custardy’ice creams. There is an old book I have that you might be able to find- it has some very good recipes in it along with shakes, sundaes and sauces. It’s
    The Ice Cream Cool Book by Earl Goldman
    We’ve gone through two copies over the years!

    I also shared a link to your cake ball recipes on the Gluten Free Cookie Swap on FB, hope you don’t mind!

    • Flora says:

      Thanks for the cookbook info, I just put it on my wish list on Paperback Swap 🙂 And that’s great about sharing the link; I am all for sharing the recipes.

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