Be sure to put your ice cream canister in freezer the day before making this recipe!
Bake sweet potato in 350° oven until soft. Scoop out insides and puree with maple syrup until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in small saucepan melt the butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add pecans and stir to combine well. Pour pecans onto parchment lined baking sheet and spread in single layer. Bake in oven (you can do this while baking the sweet potato) about 8 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking. Remove from heat, let cool. Roughly chop the pecans if you prefer smaller pieces in your ice cream.
Separate egg yolks and whites. Add egg yolks to cold saucepan, lightly whisk to blend the yolks. Reserve whites for another use.
Add milk, cream, sugars, cinnamon and salt to pan. Whisk to combine. Gently heat mixture and continue to stir with wooden spoon while heating until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Swipe your finger across the mixture on the back of the spoon and if the edges stay put, it’s ready. Takes about 5 minutes or so once the mixture comes to a simmer. If you have a candy thermometer cook until 170-175º Don’t rush it and turn your heat too high or you’ll scramble the egg yolks a bit.
Remove from heat and stir in the sweet potato puree, vanilla and bourbon, orange zest.
Strain mixture through wire mesh strainer into bowl and set bowl in ice bath for about 30 minutes to cool down (stir occasionally). Store custard base in refrigerator for several hours or overnight to thoroughly chill.
To make the ice cream, pour custard base in ice cream maker and process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. For me, it’s about 15-20 minutes. A couple minutes before it’s finished, add pecans.
Pour ice cream into container and freeze until firm.
If you want to top ice cream with marshmallow cream, combine a large spoonful of marshmallow fluff with a little bit of hot water, about a teaspoon, and whisk until combined and desired consistency. Pour on top of ice cream.