Pralines and Cream Ice Cream

TOTAL TIME: 8 hr 25 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 8 hr
Cook: 5 min
 
YIELD: about 6 cups
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, cut and scraped
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 whole egg yolks
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Directions

1 cup chopped Pralines, recipe follows
1/3 cup Caramel Sauce, recipe follows

Combine the half-and-half, vanilla bean and seeds and salt, in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Bring the half-and-half to a boil to scald it, and remove the saucepan from the heat.
Beat the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl. Add the half-and-half mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, to the beaten eggs and sugar, whisking in between each addition, until all is used. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine mesh sieve and cool completely.
Pour the filling into the ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions for churning time. As the ice cream freezes and starts to solidify, sprinkle the pralines into the ice cream maker followed by caramel sauce. Remove the ice cream form the machine and place in a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, about 8 hours.
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
1 cup pecan halves

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the light brown sugar, granulated sugar, heavy cream, butter, and water. Place over a medium-high heat and stir constantly until the pralines reach the softball stage, 238 to 240 degrees F. Add the pecans to the candy, and pull the pan off of the stove. Continue to stir the candy vigorously with a wooden spoon until the candy cools, and the pecans remain suspended in the candy, about 2 minutes. Spoon the pralines out onto a parchment or aluminum foil lined sheet pan and cool completely before serving.

Yield: about 10 pralines
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup whole milk

Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium heavy saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn't burn. Add the cream (be careful; it will bubble up), whisk to combine, and remove from the heat.

Add 2 tablespoons of the milk, and then add up to 2 more tablespoons, until the desired consistency is reached. Let cool until just warm before serving. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.)

Yield: a generous 3/4 cup
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