Last summer on a whim, I bought an ice cream maker. I previously had one back in the early 2000s but primarily used it to make pina coladas and had lost it in all of my moves. So when I was in the store and found it on sale, I impulse purchased it. One of the best decisions I’ve made in years. I spent last summer playing around with different recipes and happened upon this one for Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Gourmet. To this date, this is the best ice cream I have ever made or tasted. The beauty of it is that it is a custard so its extremely creamy and there is just a hint of salt which really brightens the caramel flavor. It’s reminiscent of the Baskin Robbin’s Pralines n Cream flavor. Over the last year, I’ve continued to make it for special occasions and parties and it continues to be one of my most requested recipes. I’ve mixed in pretzels and nuts, rolos and chips. While it is a great base for other flavors, it truly is perfect on its own.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
+ 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
+ 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
+ 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
+ 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
+ 1 cup whole milk
+ 3 large eggs
Start by making the caramel. Place 1 cup of sugar in a dry skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Stir with a fork so that the sugar cooks evening. Then once the sugar starts to melt stop stirring and begin swirling the pan over the burner. Once the sugar is cooked to an amber color, slowly add 1 cup of cream. This will cause the sugar to solidify again, using your fork, stir over low heat until the ingredients are smooth. This part can take up to ten minutes, just be patience. Pour in a container, add the vanilla and let stand until it is room temperature. Once at room temperature, stir in the salt. Maldon is my personal favorite for this.
Then in a heavy bottomed sauce pot, heat the remaining cream and whole milk until just a boil. In a medium sized bowl, beat the three eggs until combined. Then in a slow steady stream, pour half of the milk and cream mixture into the eggs stirring the entire time. This is to bring the eggs up to temperature of the milk so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. Then add the egg and cream mixture back to the remaining milk and cream mixture and over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches about 170°. If you go over 170°, you will have scrambled eggs. Once the cream mixture is at 170°, remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the caramel mixture and chill for at least 3 hours if not overnight. Once it has chilled, pour into your ice cream maker and stir for 30 minutes or until chilled. Refrigerate or serve immediately.