When I did marathon training, it involved early Saturday morning long runs with a group of other runners training for marathons. The runs were on gorgeous trails, and good scenery always makes a run better.
Sometimes, people in my running group would just talk like magpies. While on a run, conversations can begin unexpectedly. I once read that the freedom and ease of conversations during runs is because of chemicals being released during runs and the large doses of oxygen going in your brain on the way to legs and lungs.
During the first mile of a 22 mile run, one of the runners and I started talking about our post-run plans; clearly, the end of the run could not come soon enough for us. The other runner said that ice cream would be involved. Well, we spent the remaining miles discussing ice cream and gelato flavors, ice cream parlors, brands of ice cream, and making ice cream. Funny enough, the run ended near a gelato spot, too. ;)
Conversations that make you passionate have a positive effect on your run. First, who isn't passionate about ice cream? Second, who wouldn't run faster if you knew that some ice cream was waiting at the end?
I rest my case. Embrace your passions!
Now, here's an indulgent ice cream for you to enjoy! It's rich and creamy, and the butterscotch flavors and pecans just add that "comfort" taste.
Buttered Pecan Butterscotch Ice Cream
Yields 1 quart
6 tbsp. granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 1 1/12 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk or half-and-half (note: I used 1.5% milk with success)
1/2 tsp. salt
6 large egg yolks
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. scotch whiskey (optional)
1 1/2 cup pecans
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
For the buttered pecans, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the pecans and stir until coated. Spread out onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, stirring once. Allow to cool completely before chopping.
For the butterscotch mixture, spread the granulated sugar in an even layer in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat without stirring until the sugar starts to melt around the edges. Using a heatproof utensil, slowly move the liquified sugar to the center and stir gently until the sugar is melted. Continue to cook and periodically stir until the caramel turns dark amber and begins to foam. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the brown sugar, butter, 1/2 cup of cream, the milk, the vanilla extract, scotch whiskey, and salt. The mixture will steam and bubble, but the bubbling will then subsided.
Pour the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, and gradually add some of the warmed butterscotch mixture, whisking constantly as your pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan. Cover over low heat and stir constantly; make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a heatproof spatula. Once the custard is thick enough to coat the spatula, pour the custard into the cream.
Stir the custard until cool, and then cover and refrigerate until chilled. (I leave it overnight.) Freeze an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
Stir the pecans into the just-churned ice cream when you remove it from the ice cream machine. Allow the ice cream to harden in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
Source: Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop