Salted Caramel Ice Cream
This year, for our Fourth of July homemade ice cream tradition, I tried a new recipe and loved the results. So much so that I may be a convert to a cooked custard base when making ice cream. For as long as I’ve been making ice cream I’ve used my Mom’s standard recipe that calls for eggs but doesn’t require cooking. Making a cooked custard base definitely added some prep and cooling time but was SO worth it. Something happens to the eggs when they are cooked that resulted in a much creamier, albeit slightly more eggy tasting, frozen confection. There are quite a few photos because I wanted you to see the cool process sugar goes through when it is heated to make the salted caramel sauce. It is then combined with the cooked custard base to make this “to die for” ice cream. We also made espresso, peppermint and Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream and found that while the vanilla and peppermint were delicious on their own, the caramel and espresso went really well together, especially with a little salted caramel sauce drizzled on top. I made a full recipe of the custard base and salted caramel sauce but only used half of each for the ice cream and used the other half of the base to make the espresso ice cream and the rest of the salted caramel sauce was used for topping or eating right off the spoon.
Slightly melted Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Cook custard to 160 degrees F, about 15 minutes or until thick
enough to coat a metal spoon
Strained Custard base
Below are stages of heating sugar to make caramel
Once dissolved , the liquid sugar changes very quickly to this gorgeous amber color
Whipping cream bubbles up then cooks down while mixing with the caramel
Caramel sauce can be used as a topping or mixed with custard base to make ice cream
Ice cream during churning
makes 1 1/2 – 2 quarts ice cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups half and half
2 cups whipping cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Before starting the custard, fill a large bowl half way with ice and water. Have a smaller bowl ready to pour mixture into for cooling.
Beat eggs, sugar, honey and salt in heavy saucepan until blended; stir in milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin-film and temperature reaches 160°F, about 15 minutes. It is very important not to boil as this will curdle the eggs and create lumps in the batter. Remove from heat immediately and strain into bowl. Set bowl in larger bowl of ice water; stir gently for a few minutes to speed cooling of the custard. Mix caramel sauce with custard until well chilled, at least an hour. Add whipping cream and vanilla extract and churn in hand crank or automatic ice cream maker until thick. Transfer into container and freeze for several hour to “set” until firm, before serving.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt
1/2 vanilla extract
Heat sugar in a heavy sauce pan stirring constantly with a flat whisk or fork until sugar starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling pan occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is a golden to dark amber color. Carefully add heavy whipping cream (it will bubble up and may sputter) and cook, stirring, until all the caramel has dissolved. Stir in Maldon sea salt and vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature and use to mix into custard base or as a topping (or both)!
Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – use the same custard as above but put a 4″ split
vanilla bean in the custard while cooking. Scrape beans out of pod and discard shell before
straining. Salted caramel sauce is very good on top!