This salted caramel pecan ice cream has a salted caramel custard based ice cream, swirled with more salted caramel and toasted pecans throughout. It’s rich, creamy, and so delicious.
I often share a lot of no churn ice cream recipes, or simple eggless ice cream recipes, but this salted caramel pecan ice cream starts with a custard base. The process is a little more complicated than some of our other ice cream favorites like our strawberry ice cream, or our no churn mint chocolate ice cream. But the results are well worth it.
I found this recipe for salted caramel ice cream with fudge and toasted coconut from my friend Deborah at Taste and Tell and just knew I had to try my own version. Instead of fudge and coconut, I just stuck with a salted caramel ice cream, swirled with more salted caramel sauce and with chunks of toasted pecans throughout. I added a little vanilla to the ice cream base, and stuck with my own salted caramel sauce recipe.
This may be my new favorite ice cream recipe ever, though I do say that a lot 😉 What can I say? I love homemade ice cream.
This ice cream is very caramely. The custard base ice cream itself has caramel mixed into it to make it rich, and caramel flavored. Then after removing if from the ice cream maker, you swirl in more salted caramel, and chunky crunchy toasted pecans through out.
How to make Salted Caramel Ice Cream?
You’ll want to start by making the salted caramel sauce first. It’s one of those recipes where you have to move fast, so measure each of the ingredients out so you have them ready to go when you need them.
Then add the granulated sugar to a medium sauce pan, and heat it over medium high heat. Stir it constantly. The sugar will first form into clumps, then eventually will turn into an amber colored liquid. Don’t stop stirring it.
Once the sugar is melted, and liquidy, add in the butter pieces, stir them in until they are completely melted. Then slowly pour in the heavy cream. Bring the sauce to a boil, if it’s not already, and let it boil for 1 minute, while you continue to stir it.
Remove it from the heat and add in the salt, and the vanilla extract. Pour the caramel into two separate bowls, and set half aside for the custard, and put half in the fridge for later.
Now onto the custard. Add the heavy cream, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to a large pan. Heat over medium high until the edges of the mixture just start to bubble. While that is heating, whisk up your egg yolks in a separate large bowl.
Once the mixture is slightly bubbling, pour 1/2 cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolks, while whisking it together vigorously. Pour another 1/2 cup, then another 1/2 cup stirring them into the mixture completely before adding the next. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining cream and continue to heat for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens a bit (Enough to coat the back of a spoon).
Pour the mixture back into the bowl, and pour in half of your caramel sauce and stir it in completely.
Put the bowl over an ice bath, and let it sit to cool down slightly, stirring occasionally. For about 10 minutes. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
Toast the pecans in a saute pan over medium heat, stirring the whole time until they are lightly toasted. Set them aside to cool.
Once the custard mixture is chilled, pour it into a running ice cream maker and let it run according to the manufactures directions (Mine is about 30 minutes). Add in the pecans and let the mixture run for another 3-5 minutes until they are mixed evenly throughout.
Pour about 1/3 of the custard into a 9×5 loaf pan, then drizzle some of the caramel sauce. Repeat with another 1/3 of the ice cream, more caramel, the last bit of ice cream and more caramel. (You might not need to use all of the remaining caramel sauce, you can save some for another time).
Cover the container and place it into a freezer for at least 6 hours to freeze solid. Though I like to freeze mine overnight to get it hard like store bought ice cream.
Tips for making Salted Caramel Ice Cream:
- Don’t forget to freeze the ice cream maker bowl at least 12 hours before you want to make the ice cream.
- This ice cream recipe takes several hours to make from start to finish, with a lot of inactive time, but just be aware. From cooking the custard, then chilling the custard, churning the ice cream in the machine, then freezing the ice cream to be scoopable, you have about 8-12 hours of chilling time, so be prepared.
- I recommend using high fat ingredients for the richest creamiest ice cream, but you can substitute half and half for the heavy cream, and a lower fat milk for the whole milk if desired.
- You might not need to use all the second half of the salted caramel sauce in the ice cream. The ice cream itself is very rich, so only drizzle what seems like a good amount to you as you are layering the ice cream in the pan.
- You can substitute walnuts instead of pecans, if desired.
- This ice cream is very rich, serve it in small servings if it’s too much for you 🙂
This salted caramel ice cream is so rich and creamy. It’s perfectly caramelly and bursting with a perfect salty caramel flavor, with lovely crunches from the pecans! I hope you love it as much as we do!
More ice cream recipes:
- Butter Pecan Ice Cream
- Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Coconut Ice Cream
- Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
- Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
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Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
- 1 cup white sugar
- 6 TBS butter (softened and cut into 6 pieces)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the Custard:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 egg yolks
For the Pecans:
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
- Measure out all the ingredients for your salted caramel sauce and set them aside. Add your white sugar to a medium sauce pan and heat over medium high heat.
- Stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form into little clumps and then eventually into an amber colored liquid. Keep stirring.
- Once the sugar is melted add in your butter pieces. Stir them into the caramel until they are completely melted.
- Slowly pour in your heavy cream. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute while stirring.
- Remove from heat and pour in your salt and vanilla.
- Divide your caramel into 2 and set half aside and put half in the fridge for later.
For the Custard:
- In a large sauce pan, combine your heavy cream, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla. Heat over medium high until your mixture starts to bubble.
- In a large bowl, whisk your egg yolks.
- Slowly pour 1/2 cup of your cream mixture into your egg yolks while whisking vigorously. Pour another 1 cup of your cream mixture, 1/2 cup at a time while whisking the whole time.
- Pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining cream mixture and continue to heat for about 5 minutes until the mixture is thickened a bit.
- Pour back into the bowl and pour your set aside half of the caramel into the mixture and stir in completely.
- Put bowl into an ice bath and allow to set for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Toast your pecans in a saute pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring the whole time.
- Cover bowl and place it in the fridge for about 2 hours, up to overnight.
- Once chilled, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker along with your pecans and allow to run according to manufactures instructions (about 30 minutes).
- Pour about 1/3 of your custard into a 9x5 loaf pan. Drizzle a third of your caramel sauce. Repeat with another third of the ice cream, a third of the caramel sauce and then the last ice cream and the remaining caramel.
- Cover and transfer to the freezer to freeze solid.
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Things you might need for this recipe:
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