I’ve fallen into the blissful routine of the heading to the beach every morning for a run and a swim, followed by a leisurely spot of coffee at my favourite local joint.
With my last swim being in June and my first swim of the season at the beginning of September, it goes without saying that we are incredibly blessed with our beautiful beaches and sunny skies.
Interestingly – though the sunshine is out – the coastal landscape is not quite back to its usual summer form, with the tide line still marching towards the dunes and swallowing much of the beach itself.
On one of my early morning expeditions to (for which I luckily had my camera handy), large tidal pools had formed all along the stretches of wet sand, creating a lovely rippled aquatic vista.
Ice cream seemed the perfect homage to the weather and my love of the sand and surf – especially with the kiss of salt on the caramelised pecans.
Thanks to the ladies of Have a Yummy Day for the recipe inspiration.
pecan & maple ice cream
inspired by the recipe featured on ‘have a yummy day’ blog
180g pecan nuts
4 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp water
maple ice cream
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
1 ¾ cups milk (whole fat)
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
¾ cup raw sugar
4 tbsp maple syrup, plus additional for serving
For the caramelised pecans, place the sugars and water in a saucepan over medium heat.
Whisking constantly, bring the ingredients to the boil (don’t worry if some of the raw sugar remains undissolved – this adds to the texture). Quickly add the nuts to the saucepan, swirl to coat with the caramel and then spread out in a single layer on a sheet of baking paper.
Sprinkle with sea salt, allow the nuts to cool and chop about two-thirds into rough pieces. Reserve the remaining whole pecans for serving.
To make the maple ice cream, place the milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds in a stainless steel saucepan and bring to the boil.
In large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick, pale and almost fluffy.
Add the maple syrup to the hot cream mixture and pour over the yolks.
Pour everything back into the saucepan and – whisking continuously – let the mixture simmer to 85°C or until it starts to thicken.
Remove the saucepan from the heat before it reaches boiling point. This is a particularly crucial bit, as the mixture will split if it’s allowed to boil.
Pour the cream mixture into a large bowl and refrigerate until cool.
Pour through a sieve to remove any remaining solids and churn in an ice cream maker according to the machine’s instructions.
Add the chopped pecans to the ice cream, fold through and transfer to an airtight container. Freeze for at least two hours or until solid enough to scoop.
Serve topped with the additional caramelised pecans and drizzled with maple syrup.