Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream with Toasted Pecans

Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream with Toasted PecansThe Buzz
Have you ever had houseguests who just didn’t know when it was time to leave? We’ve been having that problem for a while now. For the past month we have been hosting a few hundred bees that decided to build their hive in the walls of our garage and now it is time for them to go.

I have always liked the idea of having my own bee hive for a number of reasons. Honey, obviously but also just to have my own personal army of pollinators. The reality would require more time than I am able to devote to it, which is why we have spent the past weeks figuring out the most harmless method to send the bees on their merry way.

If there is any good news (and when you have a swarm of bees there’s usually not a lot of good news) it is that our buzzy friends decided to make their home in an area that is relatively far away from our house and easily accessible via my veggie garden. That last part probably has something to do with their spot of choice. It is also the reason we tried to wait it out to see if they would just move on. They didn’t. It’s prime real estate. And, we all know the first rule of real estate; location, location, location.

After consulting with a local bee expert, and not wanting to harm the bees in anyway, we came up with a plan to get the bees out of the wall. And it worked. But then the bees just decided to build their hive under the eaves of the garage roof complete with honey comb. So we are left with no other option.

Today the saga will end with our bee expert coming to collect the colony and take it away to live with the other happy bees in her hives. Once they are gone, we will be able to open up our garage wall and see what they left behind. If the long line of ants are any indication we are looking at a pretty sticky situation.

It probably comes as no surprise that I’ve had honey on the brain lately. So, when I came across this recipe for Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream with Toasted Pecans, I knew I had to give it a try.

Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream with Toasted Pecans
Adapted from Epicurious
Yields about 1 1/4 quarts

The warm cinnamon flavor melds wonderfully the earthiness of the honey and pecans. An added bonus to this Honey-Cinnamon Ice Cream is that honey lends itself to extra-creamy ice creams, which you’ll notice immediately when you taste this one.

This ice cream is delicious when topped with fresh, sliced peaches.

2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick, 2 inches long
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup pecans or pecan pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan. Break up the cinnamon stick into several pieces and place them in the pan. Turn on the heat to medium-high, and scald the milk and cream mixture. Bubbles will begin to form around the edge of the pan, but do not allow the liquid to boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and all the cinnamon to steep for about 1 hour.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended, and then slowly whisk in the honey, sugar, and ground cinnamon until combined.

Return the cinnamon-steeped milk mixture to medium-high heat and scald once again. In a slow stream, add the hot milk mixture to the egg-honey mixture, a little at a time, while whisking constantly. When all of the hot milk mixture has been incorporated, return the contents of the bowl to the saucepan, and return the saucepan to medium heat.

Cook the mixture, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. It will seem watery at first, then begin to steam, and finally it will start to develop some body and get thicker.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately strain through a fine-mesh sieve into an airtight container. Whisk in the salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until cold, or up to overnight.

In the mean time toast the pecans, stirring continuously, on a dry skillet set to medium-low. Watch them carefully, so they don’t brown. When you smell the aroma of toasted pecans, remove them onto a plate to stop the cooking. You can also do this in a toaster oven if you don’t walk away.

When the mixture is cool, add the pecans and churn it in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s directions.

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