Servings: 8 Prep: 15 mins Cook: 2 hrs Total: 3 hrs
This recipe is part of a massive blog post on ice cream, including all my ice cream secrets. If you really want to learn the basics of an AMAZING, soft and scoopable low-carb ice cream, I highly suggest reading this post.
I should also say that this recipe was originally conceived as a standard sugar laden ice cream recipe that I made for friends and family, as an alternative to whipped cream on their pumpkin pie, during a Thanksgiving celebration, many years ago. It was just a Maple Syrup Ice Cream made with real Grade B Maple. I hadn’t yet layered in the brown butter part.
I don’t know that I’ve ever had a Maple flavored ice cream before, but the thought just sounded incredibly appealing. The result far beyond surpassed my expectations. The lovely homemade pumpkin pie sat sadly in the shadow of the mammothly popular ice cream. From there, I’ve tinkered with the formula every year for Thanksgiving.
Recently, I made it to top my little Carrot Pies that I made for Thanksgiving. As fantastic as the carrot pies were, the ice cream still stole the spotlight. Something about the browned butter, combined with the maple flavor resulted in something that just felt like pancakes. I wouldn’t call this “Pancake” flavored ice cream, although I probably could. It’s just that the taste combination reminded me of pancakes, so much so that I felt the need to whip up a batch and adorn a pile with a lovely scoop.
The moral of the story? If you ever want to put ice cream on your pancakes… you could do A LOT worse!
Browned Butter and Maple Ice CreamPrint Rate
- 2 1/2 cups cream heavy whipping, divided
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk unsweetened, divided
- 1/4 cup 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- 3/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar free maple syrup
- 3 tbsp vegetable glycerin food grade (optional)
- Take 1 1/2 cups (360 mL) of the heavy cream and put it on the stove, over low heat, to start reducing. You can't go too fast because the cream will boil up the sides of the pot and overflow and make a big mess of your kitchen. You need to go with a very low simmer and just let it gurgle away for a while. It can take a good hour or two, but ... in my own personal opinion ... it's worth it! Reduce the cream until it breaks (splits into yellow fats and solids) and starts to color. DO NOT burn it, though. There's a point at which it's too dark and becomes bitter. You want something that looks like a nice "sand at the beach" (floating in yellow butter fat). Much darker than a nice sand and it gets bitter. You'll need to play with it. Too light in color and ... you're not developing as much flavor as you could. It's a very fine line! Should be light brown/tan. Once it's like sand at the beach, set it aside. Keep it warm, but not "hot".
- Then, heat the remaining 1 cup (240 mL) of cream with 1/2 cup (120 mL) of the almond milk, until it’s hot and just about to simmer.
- While warming the cream and almond milk, in a small bowl combine the sweetener, xanthan gum and salt. Mix well, as this will help decrease the chances of the xanthan gum clumping. Set aside.
- Place the egg yolks into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk the hot cream/almond milk mixture into the eggs. Then, put the hot egg mixture back into the pot. Stir quickly, so the eggs don't scramble.
- Whisk in the dry ingredients, whisking while adding them. This should dissolve everything, further prevent scrambled eggs and eliminate xanthan clumps. Keep whisking, until the frothy bubbles stop forming on the surface and it thickens and coats a spoon.
- Once the mixture coats the spoon and/or is about 165 F (74 C), SLOWLY whisk your butter fat and browned butter solids into the egg mixture. I do this by taking a damp towel and twirling it, to make sort of a rope. Then, I make a circle on the countertop with the damp towel/rope. Then, pour the custard into a bowl. Wedge the bowl into the towel ring. This will help hold the bowl in place, so you can more freely (and aggressively) whisk the butter into the custard base. If you go too quickly, the base will break and you'll possibly need to start all over. Thankfully, it's fairly forgiving, but I'd still recommend going slowly. Drip, drip, drip the melted butter and butter solids into the custard base and whisk and whisk, until it's totally incorporated. You'll have a really nice brown butter ice cream base, at this point! You'll see the little flecks of golden butter solids in the base. They'll look like crumbs or grains of sand, but the rest of the base should be nice, smooth and delicious.
- Add the remaining cup of almond milk, pancake syrup, vegetable glycerin and vanilla. Here's a good place to adjust the flavor. Add salt or more sweetener, if you'd like (I like mine on the salty side). Then, it goes into the ice cream machine!
- That's it! Let the machine do its magic. Then ... freeze or ... EAT!
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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …
8 thoughts on “Browned Butter and Maple Ice Cream”
I don’t see the butter in the ingredients list.
—Reply posted by DJ on 8/16/2018
Hi Dean. In essence, the recipe uses cream to make butter, then we brown the milk solids in the “butter”. It’s actually a somewhat clever way to get more brown butter flavor from butter, than using butter, because store-bought butter has less milk solids in it. This is far better and goes a good deal further in bringing some tasty brown butter flavor to the ice cream. Sorry for the confusion! What is butter, if not just churned cream, ya know? 😉
Could you please tell me what is “SA’s” in the nutrition info for the recipe?
I read your explanation how you track nutrition, but I guess I miss or didn’t find what is it.
—Reply posted by DJ on 8/16/2018
Hi Aiva! SA’s are “Sugar-Alcohols”. There’s not enough space to spell it out, but … in truth, I’m referring to erythritol, specifically.
Hi. I just posted on your Ice Cream Blog, and then saw that you mentioned you don’t get a notification when you get questions there…. So, I’ll ask here too! I was saying that I thoroughly enjoyed your Maple Ice Cream recipe. I took it to Christmas Eve and everyone loved it. I also took the Mississippi Mud Pie from your awesome Throw Out the Carbage book and I think I’m going to get a request for this one on a regular basis! Anyway, the question is about ice cream. I just peeled and seeded several pounds of loquats and I want to do something lower carb with them. I know that fruits aren’t low carb, but I think it’s valuable to have a little fruit now and then, but I don’t want to make jam. I tried it with erythritol a year ago and it crystallized and was grainy. How would you recommend attempting to mix the fruit into the vanilla ice cream recipe? They are currently in chunks, with a texture somewhere between an apple and a pear, but I’m thinking of putting them in the Vitamix for a puree. I thought you might be able to suggest an amount of fruit puree that would not ruin the consistency, but be enough to taste the fruit flavor. Thanks!!
—Reply posted by DJ on 8/16/2018
Hi Wendy, I realize this is many months later, but the comments on my website aren’t working like they should and I don’t get alerted. Or, if I do get alerted, I don’t know where the comment was made and I have something like 1000 pages on my site. Hopefully my website host will fix it. I know they’ve been working on it. Sorry! To answer your question, though, erythritol always turns granular in too high of concentrations. This means you need to dilute it, somewhat. It’s not uncommon to use something like liquid sucralose, stevia or monk fruit to increase the sweetness, while decreasing the amount of erythritol used, decreasing the likelihood of crystallization. I’m personally a fan of chunks. I would lightly cook the flesh in a mixture of erythritol and your other favorite more potent sweetener alternative. Let this cook, but save the liquid. It shouldn’t crystalize. If it does, then just make your ice cream a little less sweet than you’d like it. When you add the fruit, hopefully the ice cream base will be diluted enough to allow the erythritol to dissolve (although, this might be tough and the ice cream machine may simply puree the chunks in the time it takes to dissolve the erythritol. The key is not have too high a concentration to start with). Add the fruit near the end of the freezing cycle, then spoon out and enjoy, or portion and save for later. A puree would work, as well, but … again … I like chunks. Maybe puree half and use the other half for chunks. Best of both worlds! I hope this helps!
Made this today. Learned several new techniques. Not sure I ever made the cream “butter” brown, but it is very tasty
I’m glad you enjoyed it, but I’m curious what you turned your cream into. Did it break (lose the emulsion, resulting in a bit of a grease puddle)? Were the remaining milk solid starting to color like a light sand? A nice toasted aroma, without getting bitter? This is one of my absolute most favorite ways to get that caramel flavor. It’s important that it make sense for people. Please let me know!
No it didn’t break and it wasn’t bitter, everything separated as you described.I just wasn’t sure I left it to “caramelize” long enough. Didn’t get a whole lot of color difference between the custard and the “butter”. I also wasn’t sure whether to stir it or to let it sit. I stirred so Amy e that is why it didn’t caramelize. Could be something that you could add to the directions. Still delicious whether or not there was a true Carmel color.
Hi dj, I love your website, and recipes;.And you live right here in west seattle. I also would rather eat ice cream, then any other dessert.But also, I’ve been so disappointed in getting a Rock hard, having to chisel to get it out, product. So, on to your base recipe.My question is, can I sub.NOW brand Better Stevia Glycerite? Is it the same? Also,can I sub. 1/2 & 1/2 for the almond milk? Can’t wait to try your recipe, using my homemade Fig Jam. Yummer!
Hi Roberta! (that’s my mother’s name!)
Thank you for the kind words! Yes, the issue with the rock hard ice cream has a lot to do with the sugar-free nature of it. Ice cream with regular sugar freezes a bit softer. I personally make ice cream and divide into single serving containers, then pull one out about an hour before dinner and set into the fridge where it softens. Usually about 2 hours later, it’s still very much frozen, but has a FAR more pleasant texture.
In my recipes, the salt, glycerin and egg yolks help the texture, but they also still freeze pretty hard. The little bit of time in the fridge really helps!
As to your question … Yes, in this case, if you’re substituting the Swerve with the stevia, that should be fine. Most of the sweetening is coming from the syrup. The Swerve is there because I like to blend sweeteners for synergy. Using stevia glycerite will accomplish the same goal. Also, yes … you can use half and half in place of almond milk, but I might suggest using about 3/4’rs of the amount, then replace the final 1/4 with water or milk. My reasoning is … this recipe involves breaking cream into a warm puddle of fat. It is then re-emulsified back into egg yolks, forming a custard base. If there’s too much fat, the emulsification will break and you’ll have sweet scrambled eggs in a puddle of fat. You’re 99% certain to be fine with using the full half and half, but just to be safe … dilute it a bit.
I hope this all helps. Let me know how it turns out!
(Fig Jam? I’m Jelly! 😉 )