sweet potato ice cream with maple-glazed pecans

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Hello, blog.  It’s been a while.  I never meant for this little hiatus to happen.  But let’s move past it, shall we, and talk about ice cream.  I’d originally wanted to come up with a Hanukkah ice cream that would be made with sweet potatoes (instead of the standard latke potatoes), sour cream, and applesauce.  But while I was doing some research to figure out what ratios of ingredients to use, I came across this recipe in The Perfect Scoop that I couldn’t not make instead.

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This ice cream doesn’t have any cream or eggs in it, just whole milk, but it is still perfectly creamy thanks to a whole sweet potato’s worth of puree.  (And it’d be really easy — and delicious — to make it vegan by substituting coconut milk).

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But, in some ways (or maybe a lot of ways), this ice cream is really just a vehicle for the maple-glazed pecans, which are amazing.  I’m surprised we managed not to eat all of them before they made it into the ice cream.  I almost want to put them in every single ice cream I make from now on, or just keep a giant vat of them around at all times for general snacking… would that be too extreme?

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Basically, this tastes like pie filling in ice cream form.  I meant to make Hanukkah ice cream and somehow ended up with Thanksgiving ice cream instead, but I’m totally okay with that.

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Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Maple-Glazed Pecans (from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled

1 cup plus 2 tbsp whole milk

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

A few drops lemon juice

For the nuts:

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp dark amber maple syrup

1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Big pinch of salt

Heat the maple syrup and salt in a small saucepan until it just begins to come to a full boil.  Stir in the pecans, then cook until the syrup returns to a full boil.  Stir the nuts for 10 seconds, then remove them from the heat and let cool completely.  They will still be wet and sticky when cooled, but the remaining syrup will have solidified a bit more.

Cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes, place them in a medium saucepan, and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender when poked with a sharp knife.  Drain the sweet potatoes and let cool to room temperature.

Put the milk, brown sugar, sweet potato pieces, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a blender.  Puree until very smooth, at least 30 seconds.  Add lemon juice to taste.  Press the mixture through a mesh strainer.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in an ice cream maker.  Add the pecans near the end of the freezing time.

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