I'm not going to lie, I was really on to something with that thought..
Sweet potato ice cream:
2 lbs. sweet potatoes
Once the sweet potatoes are smoothed out, add in the milk, cream and spices. Blend them up together, and add in the maple extract. I thought about forgoing the maple extract, but it really makes a huge difference in the taste of this ice cream!
Cover this ice cream base with plastic wrap (I go over the proper way to cover an ice cream base in this post Brown sugar peach ice cream - there is a correct way, and a wrong way to cover an ice cream base), and put it into the fridge overnight.
Set those aside, and dump your marshmallows onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can either use a kitchen torch, individually roast them over an open flame, or place them under the broiler for a minute or so, like I did. Do remember to keep an eye on them, though, because there is a fine line between perfectly toasted and trash. While your marshmallows are in the oven, heat your milk in a medium sized pot over medium heat, until just simmering.
Once your marshmallows are lovely and toasted on one side, flip them over, and toast the other side. They weren't as difficult as I thought they were going to be to flip, I was able to do it with just my fingers, but if they're too hot for you to handle, you can use a spatula, or tongs to flip them over.
Once your milk is simmering, slowly add it to the egg yolk/sugar mixture, whisking constantly, making sure that your eggs don't scramble. As I cautioned before, you really want to keep a very close eye on those marshmallows! While I was adding my milk to the egg yolks, smoke started coming out of my oven! I started shouting some choice words, as I pulled my smoking marshmallows out of the oven, but they weren't too bad.....we'll just call them extra toasted! Actually, they were delicious, but literally, another couple of seconds, and they would have been trash!
Because these were roasted on parchment paper, they will easily slide off into your blender, or food processor. Dump them in, and give them a quick whirl; they are mostly air, so they will quickly deflate into a puddle of amazing deliciousness.
With that done, transfer your milk/egg yolk/sugar mixture back into the medium-sized pot, and cook over medium heat, until the liquid has thickened. Once the mixture is ready, pour it in with the marshmallows, and blend them together, then add in the heavy cream and vanilla extract, and give it another whirl.
Cover it like you did with the sweet potato ice cream base, and set this also in the fridge overnight. Now then, lets turn our attention to the spiced pecans. I know, I know, there are a lot of steps here, but this ice cream is worth it!
Preheat your oven to 350*, and add the sugar, water, and spices to a small pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat. While you're waiting on this to come up to a boil, spread your pecans out in a single layer, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and toast them in the oven for 8 minutes.
Once your water/sugar mixture has come up to a boil, let it boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. After your pecans have toasted for 8 minutes, flip them over, and toast them for another 8 minutes.
Once your water/sugar/spice mixture has boiled for 5 minutes, and your pecans have toasted on both sides, slide your pecans into a medium sized mixing bowl, then pour your liquid mixture over the top and mix well.
When you are ready to make up your ice cream, pour your sweet potato ice cream base into your machine, and let it churn for about 10 minutes. Then add in your pecans, the last 5 minutes.
I happen to have a second ice cream machine that I had going at the same time, with my toasted marshmallow ice cream base. I was impatient, however, and the freezer part of my ice cream machine wasn't completely frozen, so my toasted marshmallow ice cream didn't set up like a soft serve. It was just a really cold mixture.
Oh well, I'd worked too hard to just toss it! I just poured some on the bottom of a large plastic container, and globed some of the sweet potato ice cream down on top of it, and layered it like that, back and forth, until everything was in!
If you don't have two ice cream machines, make up one ice cream base, put it into a freezer safe container, then make the other ice cream the next day, and then scoop them in together the next day.
Even though my toasted marshmallow ice cream didn't set up in the machine, it really did freeze beautifully and this ice cream combo tastes amazing! This will be a staple fall treat in our house from here on out! I fool myself into thinking it's not so bad for me, since it does have 2 pounds of sweet potatoes in it! ...right?