Holy heavenly goodness. This ice cream is elegance. Smooth – not a hard ice cream – but a soft and supple cold treat that seems always on the verge of melting into a puddle. The creaminess is punctuated by a hint of salt that swirls with the rich, nutty caramel.
For those of you who like any caramel with a salty ending, this will be a dream. I cannot love it enough.
From Ina Garten – I made the ice cream base a few days beforehand.
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
- Ice Cream Base (recipe follows)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Heat the sugar in a dry heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat the sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and swirl the pan so the sugar melts evenly, and continue cooking until it is a dark amber color. (Note: I continued to stir and it was fine)
Carefully add the heavy cream (the mixture will splatter) and cook, stirring until all the caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and whisk in the sea salt. Set the caramel mixture over a bowl filled with ice water and stir until chilled to room temperature. Combine the caramel mixture with the Ice Cream Base and add the vanilla.
Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions (mine took about 30 min – it won’t be hard, but very soft and pourable). Transfer to another container and keep in freezer.
Ice Cream Base:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
Heat the milk in a sauce pan over medium-low heat.
Prepare an ice bath by setting a 2-quart bowl over a larger bowl partially filled with ice water.
Set a strainer over the smaller bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow in color and the sugar has dissolved. Gradually pour the warmed milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the same saucepan you used to warm the milk. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Strain the custard into the top bowl of the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Add the heavy cream and stir over the ice bath until cool. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
Even after being in the freezer overnight, this ice cream does not become rock hard like most. And it’s not too crystalized like some homemade ice creams.
It’s like Fran’s Chocolates in ice cream form!
Enjoy, friends! xoxo