Introduction: Brown Butter Ice Cream - New England Style

About: I'm a 49 year old Systems Architect living in the Midwestern United States. After travelling the world for 20 years as a consulting architect I became disabled, as a result, I am now embracing a Slow life. F…

I love making homemade ice cream, especially thick, almost chewy New England style ice cream. My favorite flavor is Brown Butter, mainly because it goes great with Steamed Persimmon Pudding. This Instructable is for making it in an old-fashioned wooden ice cream machine, pretty much the only ice cream maker short of expensive restaurant-style machines that you can make New England style ice cream in. This is because it is critical to maintain a very low freezing point for at least an hour and a half, and models that require you to freeze a chamber then place it in the machine can't stay cold long enough.


  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup evaporated milk ( can), divided
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Rock salt or coarse salt
  • Plenty of ice (about 7 pounds)


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Step 1: Mix Custard

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and honey. Add cream and all but 1/4 cup of the evaporated milk and whisk to combine. In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup evaporated milk with arrowroot powder until it forms a slurry with no lumps.

Step 2: Heat Custard and Butter

Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, whisking frequently, until the custard's temperature reaches 170°F (custard is ready a finger swiped across the back of a spoon leaves a clean line).

At the same time, melt butter slowly in a skillet over low heat. Butter is browned not just when it changes color, but when it begins to give off a nutty aroma.

Remove both from heat and stir arrowroot slurry, vanilla extract, and salt into custard. Mix browned butter into custard with a whisk until well-combined. Place in an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator until it reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit (most likely overnight).

Step 3: Churn

When custard reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from refrigerator. Place the ice cream drum in the wooden barrel of the ice cream maker and insert the beater. Pour custard mixture in and replace cap and motor. Pour 2 inches of ice in between the ice cream drum and wooden barrel. Sprinkle 5 ounces of salt over ice. Continue this for two more layers then add a cup of water. Continue this until the ice and salt reach the hole in the side of the wooden barrel. Plug the ice cream maker in and allow to churn for 30 minutes, topping off ice and salt as needed (I usually just need to add a little bit after 15-20 minutes).

Step 4: Finish

After 30 minutes, remove the beater from the ice cream maker, top off the ice and salt, and cover with a towel for one hour. After that, it should be ready to serve. If not, place in a flat, airtight container and set in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.