brown butter ice cream

 After I finished these photos I shared a sneak peek on my Facebook. This is what I wrote: “if only you could taste this ice cream right now, there would be no point in me sitting here trying to figure out how to write about it. we’d probably all just sit around with our eyes closed and make yummy noises and that would be totally fine.”

And that’s the truth.

 Have you ever finished browning butter for a recipe and almost wished you could drink it because it smells so amazing? Well, this everything that’s good about brown butter- all of the nuttiness, the richness, and the aroma- churned into some of the smoothest, dreamiest ice cream you will ever eat. Because eating ice cream is a lot less gross/more fun/more sophisticated than drinking butter.

 At it’s core, this ice cream is a variation on Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream base. I’ve read about Jeni’s ice cream so many times, in a handful of magazines and on blogs, but this was my first time ever making it. Oh my goodness, it has the best texture ever, and kind of reminds me of Bi-Rite ice cream! I’m completely hooked and can’t wait to try it out in all sorts of flavors.

 P.S. A recipe from the Food52 email yesterday has me thinking that fresh raspberries or peaches would be pretty fantastic atop this ice cream.

 IMG_43771brown butter ice cream / print recipe

Note: Confession: Sometimes I’m a not-so-good girl who churns her ice cream before the base could be considered properly chilled. I did that with this ice cream and it was still some of the best I’ve ever had. So. If you’re in a hurry, you could take a risk and shorten the chilling time and probably still make really good ice cream. But if you have the time, chill it thoroughly. I’m sure it’s a good idea that’s included in every ice cream recipe on the planet for a legitimate reason.

Recipe adapted from Food52

1 cup butter
2 cups whole milk, divided
½ cup heavy cream
⅔ cup light brown sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Brown the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Don’t be shy; really get those little solid bits nice and browned. Pour and scrape all of the butter into a glass measuring cup and let it sit for a few minutes until the solids sink to the bottom. Slowly pour the clarified butter into a jar (you can save it for another use), and scrape just the remaining butter solids back into the saucepan.

Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the milk in a small bowl; set aside.

Whisk the remaining milk, cream, and brown sugar together with the brown butter in the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. When it comes to a boil, continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the cornstarch mixture and whisk for one more minute.

Take the pan off of the heat and whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract.

Allow the ice cream base to cool, in an ice bath if you prefer, and then chill.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours, before serving.

Makes about 1 quart.

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12 thoughts on “brown butter ice cream

    • I’m of the opinion that ice cream makers are necessities in the kitchen :) I hope you can acquire one soon… summer has only just started, and there are many more ice cream days ahead!

  1. i was on the hunt for a pumpkin ice cream recipe that didn’t use up quite all of the egg yolks i have in my refrigerator. i think i might just change my tune to brown butter, and maybe do a pumpkin caramel sauce to top it off instead…this looks far too delicious to pass up, and my egg carton is safe. =]

      • i was too tired to fuss with a caramel sauce, so i served it up with slices of a grapefruit olive oil cake. it was so delicious–i think the earthy-citrusy grapefruit was a good foil for the rich ice cream. i didn’t have sour cream, so i substituted greek yogurt and it turned out beautifully (although i neglected to whisk my base well enough and wound up needing to run in through a strainer before chilling it). thank you for an amazing recipe! =]

        • yay!! that sounds super!! i’m so glad you liked it. thanks for letting me know how you served it :)

          late last year i hosted a music and ice cream night with some of my brother’s and my friends, and i made three batches of ice cream- this one, almond butter, and cookies & cream. i thought the almond butter ice cream would be most popular, but this one actually disappeared fastest and got the most comments from our friends :) it’s a keeper!

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