January 2, 2022

Brown Butter Ice Cream

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I've been searching for the Filipino mantecado ice cream since forever. I can't find any from my tons of Filipino and Spanish cookbooks and online too. Mantecado ice cream was available from ice cream makers in the Philippines eons ago but they stopped making for some reason. The flavor is now being revived by a few ice cream producers and is making a comeback as Filipinos discover how good the ice cream flavor is.

Of course, it is another dessert or ice cream flavor inherited by the Filipinos from the Spanish. Mantecado is from the Spanish manteca which means lard. The Spanish have several sweets and breads using lard - polvorones, ensaimada, mantecados, mantecadas, and mantecado ice cream. I find it amusing that mantecados are different from matecadas. I'm imagining one is for men and the other is for girls. Mantecados are cookies and mantecadas are small square pound cakes.

Searching for original Spanish mantecado ice cream recipe is kinda futile. The ones available on the web are Cuban and Puerto Rican recipes but IMHO they do not come close to the ice cream flavor we know back in the Philippines because they don't have butter in their recipes. The Cuban recipe uses evaporated milk (yuck!) and flour (double yuck!!) while Puerto Rican has coconut milk but still no butter nor lard. Why they call it mantecado ice cream is a head scratcher. I guess the phrase "to each his own" applies here.

We found a recipe in Spanish language that has beurre noisette (brown butter) and the writer says the recipe is not Spanish in origin and is not common in Spain either, but is a favorite in Scotland. Scotland??? Searching for brown butter ice cream, I found several on the web and the custard based recipe sounds like the ones Filipinos are familiar with. I chose the one with white sugar because brown sugar will alter the flavor to butterscotch. I think I found my ice cream favorite for 2022. Yummy, scoopable even after a night stay in the freezer, and sooo creamy as though I'm eating ice cold pudding. The high fat content makes it so creamy like store-bought gelato but without any thickening additives. Pure bliss. 😋

Brown Butter Ice Cream
1 stick salted butter, cubed
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup sugar
1½ cups very cold heavy cream
  • Make brown butter: Melt butter over medium low heat in a medium stainless steel saucepan. Turn down heat to low and let simmer until golden brown, occasionally scraping the bottom to prevent solids from getting too brown. Strain into a glass measuring cup and let cool for 10 minutes; discard solids.
  • While brown butter is cooling, blend egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar in a tall quart plastic container using an immersion blender until mixture is smooth. Slowly pour still warm brown butter while blending.
  • Heat milk and remaining ¼ cup sugar until just starting to simmer and sugar is completely melted. Slowly pour into the egg yolk and butter mixture, blending until fully incorporated.
  • Stir with a spatula scraping egg mixture from the bottom and sides of container. Stir cold heavy cream until evenly mixed. Place in the freezer for 1 hour. Churn in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream in a quart ice cream container and enjoy soft serve or freeze for a few hours. 


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