Toast the pecans. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lay the pecan halves on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake pecans in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown. Set parchment paper-lined baking tray aside. Coarsely chop the pecans.
Heat up the sugar and cream. In a heavy-based saucepan set over medium heat, add brown sugar and cream; stirring frequently. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Once the mixture starts to bubble stir constantly; scraping the sides and bottom so nothing sticks or burns. Stir the mixture constantly until the temperature reaches the softball stage at 115°C (240°F) degrees.
Add the butter and pecans. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter. Stir constantly until the butter is melted and is fully combined into the caramel- this can take a minute of vigorous stirring for it to combine fully. Add the vanilla and pecan pieces and stir until coated.
Layout pecans on a tray and let them harden. Spoon the coated pecan pieces onto the prepared baking tray and spread out. Set aside to cool and harden. Then break up the praline into small pieces.
Make the vanilla ice cream.
Whip the cream and condensed milk together. Add the milk, condensed milk and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Using hand-held beaters fitted with the whisk, whip the three ingredients until thickened and soft peaks form.
Fold through praline. Add two-thirds of the praline to the cream mixture and fold through until evenly distributed.
Layer components into a freezer-safe pan. Spoon one-third of the ice cream into your favourite freezer container. Drizzle a third of the caramel over the top, then sprinkle a third of the remaining pecan praline over the caramel. Use a butter knife or chopstick to swirl the caramel through the ice cream. Repeat the layers finishing with sprinkling praline over the top. Freeze the ice cream for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours, best overnight. Scoop out and serve with a drizzle of any leftover caramel sauce, remaining pecan praline or some chopped pecans.
Step-by-Step Photos: My blog post includes helpful step-by-step photos to help guide you through making this recipe.To Freeze: Store the ice cream in your freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you have any leftover pecan praline, store it in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Any remaining caramel can be refrigerated for up to 4 weeks. Heat gently in the microwave to create a runny consistency.TIP 1: Mis en place. When making both the caramel and pecan praline, the best piece of advice that I can give is to weigh out and prepare all your ingredients first. Be prepared with utensils and then start the method.TIP 2: Toast the pecans. Get the most out of your ingredients- toasting the pecans heightens and intensifies their flavour and makes them crunchier.TIP 3: Don’t overwhip the cream in the ice cream. If using a stand mixer or an electric hand-held whisk to whip the cream and condensed milk, when you think the cream is almost at the perfect stage of whipping, continue with a hand whisk. You are far more in control and will be able to ‘feel’ when the cream is whipped sufficiently.Salted Caramel Sauce: Use store-bought or make a batch of my Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce.