Butter Pecan Affogato

Butter Pecan Affogato

My butter pecan ice cream makes a wonderful topping for any dessert and is delicious when paired with steaming hot espresso. The recipe below makes 1 1/2 quarts—roughly double what you’ll need to make six affogatos. But if you’re going to the trouble of making homemade ice cream for your guests, you’ll want some left over for yourself!–Whitney Miller, winner of Masterchef season 1

LC Beware Sneering Italians Note

We’re not quite certain how our respected friends from Italy will feel about this butter pecan ice cream version of their beloved affogato. A classic Italian dessert, affogato takes its name from the word for “drowned” and, fittingly, comprises a shot of freshly brewed espresso dousing a diminutive scoop of gelato, whereas this Southern riff relies on an oversize scoop of ridiculously rich butter pecan ice cream. But based on what we’re hearing from those who’ve tried this adulterated version, who cares what anyone else thinks? Just pass us a spoon, please.

Butter Pecan Affogato

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 6
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Special Equipment: Ice cream maker

Ingredients


Directions

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Stir in the brown sugar and salt.

Combine the cream or whole milk and half-and-half in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the liquid starts to simmer, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and, whisking constantly, stir just a few spoonfuls of hot cream into the egg mixture to temper it, which means to warm it slightly so it doesn’t curdle from the heat. Still whisking briskly, gradually beat the warmed eggs into the hot cream in the saucepan. Return the pan to medium-low heat and cook until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 7 to 9 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. If desired, strain the custard into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla and pecans. Pour the custard into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled through, 1 to 2 hours. Place in an ice cream maker and freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Place a scoop of ice cream in each of six small bowls and top each with a shot of steaming hot espresso. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This is the perfect after-dinner dessert for a casual summer gathering. The caramel-y, praline-like quality of the ice cream really stands out and blends so well with the coffee. As it melts, it makes this delicious sauce to scoop up with the remaining frozen ice cream. I used whole milk, as I wanted a finished product that was less rich, and I was happy with the results — still rich and creamy. This is not an extremely sweet dessert due to the coffee, which I really appreciated, but I think it would elevate this dessert to sinful levels to add chocolate in some way: brownie chunks, fudge sauce swirled throughout, grated chocolate….

This is one of the best southern butter pecan ice creams I have ever tasted. We could taste the butter in the ice cream. It had a silky texture and was just sweet enough. Because I do not own my own espresso machine, I went to the local coffee shop and got some cold-pressed espresso, which would not turn bitter. It was fantastic on the ice cream. It had a smooth feel and added richness to the taste of the ice cream. I must say, I would love this ice cream with or without the espresso. It was really wonderful.

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