Rich, buttery, brown sugar butterscotch ice cream that's spiked with a hint of Bourbon, and layered with ribbons of butterscotch sauce and salty-sweet chunks of almond praline.
This is a custard style of ice cream that gets its rich butterscotch flavor from a brown sugar and butter base that's spiked with a touch of Bourbon. Because the molasses in brown sugar is highly acidic, it's important to prepare the butterscotch and custard components separately, combining them only once both are cool. If you don't, the acid will curdle the milk. And, there's just not enough adventure in me to want to try ice cream made from curdled milk.
Two ingredients that help make incredibly smooth homemade ice cream.
This recipe calls for Glucose Syrup and Xanthan Gum, two ingredients which might not be typical in your kitchen or your local grocery store, but both of which can easily be ordered. Xanthan gum is often used as a stabilizer in gluten-free baking. I typically have some on hand. But, I'd never in my life used glucose syrup.
Glucose syrup has the ability to bind with more water molecules than regular sugar. This ensures that less water in the ice cream forms into ice crystals, producing ice cream that is softer and smoother when frozen. (Just one of the 1,001 useful tidbits in Ms. Cree's book.) Glucose syrup is also not as sweet as table sugar, making it easier to produce not-too-sweet ice cream that's rich, creamy, and packed with flavor.
Having used Glucose Syrup in this butterscotch ice cream, I'm a fan. I ordered mine on Amazon and will use it to make homemade ice cream from now on. However, if you prefer, feel free to substitute granulated sugar or corn syrup for the Glucose Syrup.
Likewise, xanthan gum prevents large ice crystals from forming in homemade ice cream, further contributing to a smooth, creamy texture. I also order xanthan gum on Amazon. You only need a small amount to achieve optimal ice cream texture, but the stuff will last for years, stored in your cupboard or pantry.
If homemade butterscotch ice cream sounds like something you need to experience, but you don't feel like making butterscotch sauce or almond praline, just leave them out. However, before making that decision, you should know that butterscotch sauce and almond praline are super easy to make, each taking only about 15 minutes.
I especially love the salty sweet nutty crunch that the praline adds to each bite of this butterscotch ice cream. But, if that's not your thing, add something else, or nothing at all.
Used in this recipe:
FOR THE ICE CREAM:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup glucose syrup (Or, granulated sugar or corn syrup)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
FOR THE ALMOND PRALINE:
- 1 cup whole almonds, roughly chopped into large pieces
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- OPTIONAL: 1 recipe homemade butterscotch sauce, well chilled
MAKE THE ICE CREAM:
- Add the butter to a medium size heavy bottom sauce pan and melt over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter browns, turning deep golden. Add the cream, brown sugar, bourbon and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce comes to a boil. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator.
- Add the milk and glucose to a medium heavy bottom saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Remove pan from the heat.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk the egg yolks to combine. Slowly add ½ cup of the hot milk mixture to the yolks, pouring it in a thin steady stream while whisking vigorously. Pour the yolks into the pan with the rest of the milk mixture and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 180 degrees on a kitchen thermometer. Pour the custard into a bowl and refrigerate until completely cool.
- When both the butterscotch and custard are cool, pour both into a blender. Add the Xanthan Gum. Turn the blender to low and mix for 20-30 seconds to combine.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Cover and refrigerate the ice cream base overnight, or for at least 4 hours. (Chilling the base for several hours is optional, but greatly improves the texture of the ice cream.)
WHILE THE BASE CHILLS, MAKE THE ALMOND PRALINE:
- Heat almonds, sugar, cinnamon, butter and salt in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until almonds are toasted and sugar is completely melted and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Spread on aluminum foil or parchment paper and let cool completely. Break into small chunks.
FREEZE THE ICE CREAM:
- Pour the ice cream base into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacture's instructions. The ice cream is ready when it thickens into the texture of soft-serve and holds it's shape.
- If incorporating butterscotch ribbons and almond pralines into your butterscotch ice cream, drizzle about ⅓ cup of butterscotch sauce into the bottom of a loaf pan or other ice cream container. Scoop about half of the ice cream over the sauce. Drizzle with another ⅓ cup of butterscotch sauce and sprinkle with half the almond pralines. Spread another ⅓ of the ice cream over the butterscotch sauce and pralines. Drizzle another ⅓ cup of butterscotch sauce and sprinkle with the remaining almond pralines. Top with the remaining butterscotch ice cream. Move a butter knife through the ice cream 4 or 5 times to swirl ingredients together slightly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to harden before serving.
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