Rosemary-Brown Butter Ice Cream

Laura Sawicki

La Condesa, Austin, TX

This rich, soulfully sweet ice cream is the perfect treat for fall.


1 1/2 quarts


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, sliced into 1-inch-thick pieces
  • 9 large egg yolks

  • 1 cup granulated sugar


In a medium sauce pot over low heat, combine the milk, cream, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk until the sugars have dissolved. Add the vanilla pod, vanilla seeds, rosemary, and lemon zest. Increase the heat and bring the liquid to just under a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Let cook until it is golden brown with a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in the granulated sugar. Stream in the brown butter and whisk to combine. (Be sure that the brown butter has cooled before this step, or you risk curdling the eggs.) Set aside.

Strain the infused cream through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Return to the sauce pot and heat over medium-high heat until it comes to just under a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly stream a third of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the yolks from curdling. Slowly stream this mixture into the remaining hot cream, whisking constantly. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170ºF, or until it coats the back of a spoon.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve and into a medium mixing bowl that’s resting in an ice bath. Let cool, then cover and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.