Vegan Maple Pecan Ice Cream

As you know from my Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe, I need ice cream in my life, even in the winter.

This recipe is creamy and delicious.  When I was a kid, the only people (who I knew) who liked butter pecan ice cream were older people, usually over the age of 60.  (I know, it's not that old, but as a kid, I thought they were OLD.  Now that my parents are getting to that age, I'm reevaluating those conclusions.)

Since adopting a mostly plant-based diet, I've really come to appreciate nuts.  Pecans are naturally sweet and really good.  Combine them with some maple syrup - yummy.  Add some amaretto in, and now you've got yourself a first-class dessert.

If you didn't have a billion reasons to get an ice cream maker, do it now!

2 cans of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 24 hours*
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp. sea salt 
3 T. organic cane sugar
1/4 c. amaretto (try making your own!)

1 1/2 c. pecans, chopped
4 T. pure maple syrup
2 T. Melt, other type of butter substitute
pinch of sea salt

In a medium sauce pan, toast the pecans over medium heat, regularly stirring them.  You want to release their fragrances, not burn them.  Toast them for about 5-7 minutes.  After, add the Melt, maple syrup, and salt to the pecans.  Cook the ingredients over medium heat, until everything is combined, melted, and the pecans are coated.  When it's ready, remove it from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Combine the first set of ingredients in a blender.  Stick your finger in to taste it.  See if you need to add additional maple syrup for sweetness.  

Follow your ice cream maker's instructions.  (For mine, I have to chill my bowl for at least 15 hours in the freezer, etc.)  Turn it on and pour in the batter.  I churned mine for 25 minutes; it should look like soft serve.  Toward the end of your cycle, scoop the pecans in the mixer.

Pour it into a freezer-safe container and let it set for at least 4 hours.

I like to portion mine out into single-serve containers.  (When you have dairy-free ice cream, you have to let it sit out at least 20 minutes before scooping it. I don't always like letting the whole container sit out repeatedly.)  I bought these OXO baby food containers and they are perfect for my ice cream!  That way, I can let them sit out for 20 minutes each and not worry about the ice cream getting weird :-)

Single serve containers are perfect for adults and kids!  The ice cream's at prime scooping time between 4-6 hours.