Low carb, sugar-free ice cream made with low carb dulce de leche and studded with salty roasted pecans.
I’ve been holding out on you. From the very name of this recipe I am sure you can gather that it was truly delicious and since I made it over a month ago, I really ought to have shared it with you by now. But I wanted to hold off for a bit, while I perfected a low carb ice cream that stayed soft and scoopable, even after many hours in the freezer. See, this was the recipe that lead me to the discovery that my homemade low carb sweetened condensed milk, a little extra xanthan gum and some alcohol could seriously improve the texture of sugar-free ice cream. I wanted to see if I could repeat the results with other flavours of ice cream, especially with vanilla. Because if I could do that, then I knew I was on to something. Then I figured I would share the recipe for ice cream made with my low carb dulce de leche.
The problem is that although I have had great success with my low carb vanilla ice cream, not all of my readers have had the same success. One poor person ended up with a gummy mixture that never set properly in her freezer, no matter how long she froze it. We narrowed the possible culprit to her use of a liqueur which contains sugar, since sugar lowers the freezing point of liquids and may have kept the ice cream from setting properly. Another person found that it froze quite hard and was not scoopable at first, but when she turned up the temp slightly in her freezer, it softened perfectly., which suggests that the recipe is very sensitive to temperatures as well. I have now made the vanilla ice cream recipe three times with slight variations and I’ve found that any reduction in xanthan gum or alcohol also means that it freezes rather harder than I like. So I know that the original recipe is solid, but that not everyone will get the exact same results if any of the variables change.
Even if perfect low carb ice cream is a little more difficult to achieve, at least with consistency, than I originally thought, this dulce de leche ice cream recipe is still worth sharing. Because even if it freezes a little harder and isn’t perfectly scoopable day after day, it’s so delicious, it’s worth waiting 10 minutes while it softens on your counter. For me, this recipe worked perfectly from the get-go and it was what twigged me to the fact that my condensed milk recipe might be the perfect base for low carb ice cream. And the salted pecans in dulce de leche ice cream? Pure genius, although not from my own head. Someone else’s genius altogether. I saw a recipe for a sugar-filled version and you didn’t have to ask me twice!
Dulce De Leche Ice Cream with Salted Pecans
- ¾ cup pecans roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups Low Carb Dulce De Leche
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoon vodka optional, but helps consistency
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon stevia extract
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- Preheat oven to 325F and combine chopped pecans, butter and salt in a baking dish, tossing to mix thoroughly.
- Bake 10 to 15 minutes, tossing ever 5 minutes, until golden brown.
- Let cool in pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dulce de leche, heavy cream, vodka, vanilla and stevia extract. Sprinkle with xanthan gum and whisk quickly to combine.
- Chill 2 to 3 hours.
- Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.
- Transfer to an airtight container, stir in salted pecans and press plastic wrap flush to the surface.
- Freeze until firm, about 2 more hours
- Any leftovers will freeze very solid. Be sure to soften in the refrigerator for half an hour before using.
Chris Pederson says
Thanks for sharing how this ice cream isn’t easy to scoop after it’s frozen but I think it’ll still taste great. My wife told me dulce de leche is amazing but I’ve never had it. I like ice cream so I’ll get some and make this recipe to surprise my wife.
Jeanna Woods says
I know this recipe is a few years old, but I had to comment. I have been following THM for 3 months now, and I was craving the Double Salted Caramel Pecan ice cream from Culvers. Made this, adding 1/4 tsp caramel extract and 1/4 tsp salt to the base and wow – it sure hit the spot! And the texture right out of the ice cream maker is so close to frozen custard. I’m in Love! Thanks for all your super recipes – you make this way of life easy!
hello. can i do the recipe without xanthan gum? what is for?
No, you need it to thicken and to reduce recrystallization.
Roger Conner says
I’ve been searching for no-sugar ice cream, and this sounds awesome. Ruben, the artisanal ice cream maker at http://icecreamscience.com/about/, also uses extended cooking, but he cooks the entire mix rather than to make condensed milk separately. He says the benefit comes from increasing the percentage of protein. He gets his result by adding powdered milk to a mix with a ratio of 4 creams to 3 milks and then cooking the entire mixture (about for 25 minutes at 168 degrees to reduce it by 15%. Do you think this might work with your recipe and allow me to skip the condensed milk-making phase?
Looks yummy! I find that if I use glycerin (1 – 1 1-2 tsp or so… never measure) it will keep the ice cream soft enough in the freezer for several hours (maybe longer) but if I leave it overnight… still too hard! It is found in the cake section of Walmart, Michaels, etc. (Wilton) Not sure how healthy it is!! I fix the ice cream, put it into the freezer, then clean up dinner mess, by the time we are ready to sit down it is just right.
Just read in the comments above that you have also been using Glycerin. How is it working for you?
Roger Conner says
I have been making regular sugar-loaded ice cream for years using a recipe from Jenis ice cream. She uses Corn Syrup, an invert sugar, because it increases smoothness. As I have worked to lessen the sugar in my mix, I have substituted vegetable glycerine for half the corn syrup and xylitol/erythritol for half the sugar, and no one in my family complained. When I tried going to zero, they whined. Still working on it!
I’m going to make this today. I see that in your more recent recipes you use glycerine. Advisable to add it to all your ice cream recipes?
It’s really a matter of personal preference. It’s hard to get a read on how many carbs it has, since it’s such an unusual ingredient. My last batch of ice cream, I left it out. It hardened more upon freezing but I just made sure to leave it out to soften a bit. One thing that helps is to dish it into smaller portions for freezing so you don’t have to thaw the whole thing every time.