Bourbon pecan ice cream, made with maple syrup. Perfect for the Kentucky Derby

The technique of making ice cream is to use a method and ingredients that prevent the cream from freezing solid. The constant churning in an ice cream maker (We use a Whynter Ice Cream maker) and some of the ingredients keep the ice crystals small so the ice cream stays creamy. In this recipe, the creme fraiche, bourbon and maple syrup are the keys to keeping the ice crystals small. The creme fraiche is homemade using Horizon cream.

Our basic ice cream recipe is the one we use for our French Vanilla ice cream. For the bourbon pecan ice cream we swap in bourbon for the vodka and maple syrup for the corn syrup and come up with an entirely new flavor.

Different brands of the same product can vary immensely. With some ingredients it will not matter much, but with others, it can mean the difference between success and failure. If it is important to use a particular brand, we have listed the brand in the recipe. Additionally, for this recipe we used Blanton bourbon and Runamok maple syrup. 

The pecans are toasted, to give them more crunch and flavor, and then added at the last minute so they stay crunchy.



Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon pecan ice cream


  • Whynter ice cream maker
  • stand mixer



  • In a small saucepan, bring cream and maple syrup to a simmer, stirring to combine.
  • Using a stand mixer, Whisk together egg, egg yolk, sugar and salt for 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Reduce the mixer to low speed and slowly add the cream and maple syrup mixture.
  • Continue wisking and add the creme fraiche and bourbon.
  • Refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • Pour into the ice cream maker and make ice cream according to the directions.
  • Transfer ice cream into a glass container that has been in the freezer. Stir in the toasted, chopped pecans, cover, and put the container back in the freezer overnight.
  • Store in the freezer for up to a week.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

While traveling in France, we discovered how good French ice cream is and recreated when we got back home. Then started adapting it with other flavors, like this totally American flavor that uses bourbon, pecans and maple syrup – all American ingredients. We researched the science and techniques behind the recipe and used tips from exceptional chefs. Then we used the best ingredients we could find to create this recipe. For more ideas, see our other posts about recipes inspired by travel.

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