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Close up of a bowl filled with scoops of brown butter pecan ice cream.

Rosemary Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american


This recipe for Rosemary Brown Butter Pecan Ice Cream is an over the top play on traditional butter pecan ice cream. It’s incredibly rich, buttery, and loaded with salty pecans. An epic frozen treat!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 large sprig rosemary, plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly toasted pecans, roughly chopped


  1. Start by browning the butter by melting it in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the butter around until it’s fully melted, then watch it with a close eye until it foams and then turns a few shades darker and smells nutty. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter into a bowl to cool, being sure to scrape in all of the toasted brown bits.
  2. In another pan, heat the milk and rosemary sprig until it comes up to a simmer, then remove it from the heat. Allow the rosemary to steep for about 20 minutes. While the milk is still warm, but not too hot, remove the rosemary and whisk in the brown sugar until dissolved.
  3. When the butter has mostly cooled, add in the egg yolks and vigorously whisk until thoroughly combined. I used an immersion blender to make this a bit easier, but elbow grease will work just as well. Pour the egg mixture into the pan with the milk and sugar and place over medium-low heat. Use a whisk or rubber spatula to constantly stir and scrape the bottom and edges of the pan until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and pass through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps.
  4. Whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla extract, then cover and chill the mixture until very cold. This will take several hours or overnight, but can be sped up by place in the freezer and giving it a stir every 15 minutes.
  5. When the mixture is nice and cold, pour it into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers directions to churn it into ice cream. While it’s mixing, combine the chopped rosemary, flaky sea salt and toasted pecans in a small bowl. A minute or two before the ice cream is done, pour in the nuts/sat/rosemary and let it mix until they’re evenly distributed.
  6. Remove the ice cream to a container, cover, and freeze until nice and firm. Scoop, eat, repeat!


  • I do not recommend substituting dried rosemary – if anything, leave it out completely.

Keywords: brown butter, rosemary, butter pecan ice cream, homemade ice cream