So. Much. Sweat.
I’m sure most of you are currently experiencing the
tiny major heat wave that is hitting the Midwest right now. It’s all over the news and this reporter from NBC was in a corn field in Illinois talking about corn sweat and flying his drone over the corn fields in an attempt to perhaps show us the corn sweat? I don’t know, he looked like a J. Crew model and had no sweat on him and he made me angry.
The corn can sweat but not you? Get off my TV.
I’ve even turned on my air conditioner, which if you know me at all is a big deal. I don’t like being cold in the summer but I have three cats and they’re covered in fur and can’t walk around naked when it gets to be 500 million degrees.
They also can’t eat delicious ice cream which is a shame because I want to sit in a pool of this stuff right now. Ok, that would be sticky and gross but you get the idea. I don’t have an ice cream maker but wayyyyy back in April when I was house sitting in Sycamore I had access to one and I thought “Hey, why not try some ice cream?” It took a little trial and error (meaning, I couldn’t get the bucket to freeze and then I was stupid and put ice cubes in it thinking that would cool it down faster and then the ice cubes got stuck to the sides and I had to sit there and chisel them out and the bucket slightly unfroze and then I had to re-freeze it again) but it turned out way better than I thought it would.
Now, don’t start to get all depressed if you don’t have an ice cream maker because you can still make this ice cream. It will just take a few extra steps and it won’t be AS creamy as the machine version, but with this heat, who cares? As long as it’s cold it’s all good.
Toffee Pecan Ice Cream
For the toffee (you will need a thermometer for this part if you have a candy thermometer, great if not I got by using a meat thermometer):
- 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted (measure it out after it’s melted)
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- Combine the oil, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil and heat until it reaches 300 to 305 degrees or “hard-crack” stage (am I the only childish adult that giggles at “hard-crack”? Probably.) DON’T LET IT GO OVER 305!!
- Pour the toffee onto the baking sheet and smooth out with a spatula. It may seem a little oily, but that’s ok. Let it cool completely and then break it into tiny pieces. Try not to eat it all while you make the ice cream base.
For the ice cream:
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp banana flour or tapioca starch or arrowroot powder or corn starch (basically powdered thickener)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup chopped pecan pieces
- 1 batch of toffee pieces
- If you have an ice cream maker: Place the bucket into the freezer the night before so that it’s completely frozen. Do NOT put ice cubes in it. If you do NOT have an ice cream maker: Place a large metal bowl into the freezer so it gets super cold. A glass bowl will work, but won’t get as cold as metal.
- Shake the cans of coconut milk really well and place all but a 1/2 cup of the milk into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar or maple syrup, and salt. Heat this over medium low heat but don’t let it boil.
- Whisk your thickener into the reserved coconut milk and pour this into the heated coconut milk. Stir and heat until it starts to thicken.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract. Pour it into a large glass bowl and let it cool on the counter for about 10 minutes. Add a handful of toffee (about 1/4 cup) and then place it in the fridge to cool completely.
- Ice Cream Maker People: Once your bucket is totally frozen and your ice cream base is cold, pour it into the bucket and start the churning process. It took me about 30 minutes to get it to the soft serve phase. Once it’s there, throw in the pecan pieces and the rest of the toffee and let it mix throughout. Then scoop the ice cream into a large container (I used a bread pan) and cover. Let it firm up in the freezer for about 4 hours and scoop out with a hot scoop to make it easier to serve.
- Non-Ice Cream Maker People: Pour the ice cream base into the bowl and start whisking. It won’t get super thick at this stage, but you’re adding a little bit of air into the mix which is good. After about 5 to ten minutes, whisk in the pecan and toffee pieces and pour everything into a large container. Cover and place in the freezer and about once every hour take it out and stir it. Do this about 6 to 7 times and then let it freeze until firm.
Is it a lot of steps? Kind of. But the end result is worth the time and effort. Especially on a hot, corn-sweaty day!
Stay cool friends!