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National Ice Cream Day: Homemade Ice Cream

For more recipes like these, check out ‘A La Mode: 120 Recipes in 60 Pairings’ by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

BROWNED-BUTTER BUTTER PECAN ICE CREAM
From 'À La Mode: 120 Recipes In 60 Pairings'
Yield: about 1 quart

We put the butter back in butter pecan ice cream! Or to be more specific, browned butter—thereby cutting down on the ice cream’s sweetness so the pecans show through. What we want are the browned and burned solids in the butter, often lying on the bottom of the saucepan. The only way to get enough of those is to make too much browned butter. But you’ll then have a generous amount of browned, clarified butter for frying eggs, making outrageous cinnamon toast, or preparing curries.

Ingredients:
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
¾ c. pecan pieces
2 c. whole milk
¾ c. heavy cream
½ c. packed light brown sugar
¼ c. light corn syrup
1½ tbsp. cornstarch

Instructions:
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until it turns dark brown, 3 – 5 minutes. Gently pour the clear, brown liquid off the top and into a small glass storage container, leaving the browned milk solids and blackened bits on the bottom of the saucepan. Reserve this browned, clarified butter, covered, in the fridge for another purpose. Set the pan with the solids and blackened bits aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Toast the pecans in a large, dry skillet set over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Pour onto a cutting board and chop into small bits. Set aside.
Add the milk, cream, light brown sugar, corn syrup, and cornstarch into the pan with the browned butter bits; set over medium-low heat and whisk until the brown sugar and cornstarch are dissolved, scraping up those browned and blackened bits on the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbling, about 5 minutes.
Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day, covering after the mixture is cold.
Prepare an ice cream machine.
Stir the browned butter mixture, then freeze it in the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until it can mound on a spoon.
Add the pecans and let the machine’s dasher churn them in until the ice cream can mound on a spoon without immediately melting at its edges.


CHERRY CHEESECAKE ICE CREAM
From 'À La Mode: 120 Recipes In 60 Pairings'
Yield: about 1 quart

Cream cheese in ice cream? Why not? Especially since it gives the frozen concoction a taste very much like cheesecake. Sweet cherry jam—rather than sour—will work best against the already slightly sour cream cheese. If you miss the crust on your cheesecake or are serving this ice cream without the bear claws, let the ice cream machine’s dasher stir 2 or 3 crumbled graham crackers into the finished custard before you layer it with the jam.

Ingredients:
1¼ c. whole milk
¾ c. heavy cream
⅔ c. granulated white sugar
6 oz. regular cream cheese (do not use low-fat or fat-free)
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
½ tbsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. finely grated lemon zest
⅔ c. sweet cherry jam

Instructions:
Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until puffs of steam rise off the surface.
Place the sugar, cream cheese, egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest in a food processor. Cover and pulse a few times to combine well.
With the machine running, pour the warmed milk mixture in through the feed tube. Process until smooth, scraping down the inside of the canister at least once. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days, covering once the mixture is cold.
Prepare an ice cream machine.
Stir the custard and freeze it in the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until you can spoon up a mound without its edges immediately melting.
Spoon some of the ice cream into a tall container or a loaf pan, spread a little cherry jam on top, and keep making these alternating layers, ending with ice cream. As you scoop it up, you’ll make ribbons of jam in the ice cream balls.