By Kelly Bogard
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s hot here in Texas–with a 100 percent chance of getting even hotter. And, since it’s also National Dairy Month, I decided ice cream would be a perfect fit for this week’s Table Top recipe. I’ll show you how to make a “no cook” Pecan Praline Ice Cream with Microwave Pralines. You can try the pralines on their own or combine them with the ice cream base for a wonderfully sweet treat to beat the summer heat.
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For the Microwave Pralines, you will need…
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups pecans, chopped[/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=”vertical-align:text-top;”]
For the Ice Cream base, you will need…
4 cups half and half
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 batch pecan pralines[/wpcol_1half_end]Before starting either recipe, put your ice cream canister in the freezer. It needs to be very cold, so freeze it for at least one hour. I tend to forget this step, so I usually put mine in the night before.
Now, we can start on the pralines. In a glass microwave-safe bowl, combine the brown sugar and whipping cream. Be careful! Melting sugar can be dangerous because of the high heat. That’s why it’s important to use a glass bowl and never test the sugar with your skin once removed from the microwave. Now that I’ve thoroughly scared you, place the bowl with the sugar and cream in the microwave on high for 12 minutes. Once it is done, carefully remove it from the microwave and add the butter, vanilla and chopped pecans. Did you notice that my butter is smiling? It’s so happy to be made into pralines!
Stir the mixture until well blended. Using a tablespoon, drop the candies onto a foil- or wax-lined baking sheet to cool and dry. A few tips for this recipe: Put a cool, damp cloth under your wax paper or use quick release foil to keep it from sticking to the pan. When making the ice cream, I usually just spread the pralines in a thin, even layer to cool and dry. If you plan to just make the pralines and skip the ice cream, I suggest using pecan halves instead of chopped.
As your pralines cool and dry, let’s mix the ice cream base together. All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients in a very large bowl that will fit in your refrigerator. The sweetened condensed milk can be a little challenging to get mixed in, so I usually start with that in the bottom of the bowl with the heavy cream and mix it together with my hand mixer. Then slowly add the half and half until everything is blended. Finish by stirring in the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, just to get it good and cold.
Next, break up your pralines into small, bite-sized pieces and add them to the cold ice cream base. Pour the whole thing into your ice cream canister, place it in the ice cream freezer, cover well and let it churn. Every ice cream maker is different, so please follow the instructions for your maker at this point. When the mixture reaches a thick consistency, put it in a freezer-safe container and place it in the freezer to harden. This should take about three hours, depending on how hot the day is and how long you can wait for this treat.
I hope this ice cream keeps you cool–or at least makes you dream of cooler places. From all of us at Table Top, enjoy!
Recipe: Microwave Pralines
Summary: Easy pecan pralines to use in ice cream or just enjoy by themselves
Tip: Put a cool, damp cloth under your wax paper or use quick release foil to keep it from sticking to the pan.
Tip: When making the Pecan Praline Ice Cream, forgo the candy dropping process and spread in a thin, even layer to cool and dry.
Cooking time (duration): 15 minutes
Cooling and drying time (duration): 4 hours
Number of servings (yield): 8-10
Recipe: Pecan Praline Ice Cream
Summary: Creamy vanilla ice cream with homemade pecan praline bits
*Note: Every ice cream maker is different, so please follow the instructions for your maker.
Prep time (duration): 1 hour
Churn and freeze time (duration): 4 hours
Number of servings (yield): 8-10