In a small skillet over medium heat, cook pecans in butter until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring constantly, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl; set aside. Combine brown sugar and half and half in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; remove from heat. Gradually pour hot mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Return custard to saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture coats the back of a spoon (see Editor’s Note). Remove from heat and stir in cream, vanilla, and pecans.
Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers’ directions.
The custard mixture is ready when you can draw your finger down the back of the coated spoon and see a clear line.
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