Salted Caramel Ice Cream

If you have kept up with my blog with any regularity in the last year, you know I have a mild salted caramel obsession. Any time any dessert involves this delicious and addicting ingredient, I don’t hesitate to go for it. It’s just SO good. The buttery, rich caramel flavor accented by a hint of salt just kills me every time. So, it was only a matter of time before I ventured to the Salted Caramel Ice Cream route. I mean, I had to right?

This recipe is wonderful. It is the richest, creamiest ice cream I’ve ever made and the salted caramel flavor is just perfect. Little caramel bits, sprinkled throughout the ice cream, end up melting a bit-creating little pockets of caramel. Also- the presence of salt keeps this ice cream perfectly creamy, never allowing it to get rock hard. (You know- that whole salt melts ice thing?) Rather than adding extra salt to the mixture, I sprinkled some flaky bits on top to really give it that perfectly salty flavor.

For this recipe, I combined two different ones that both looked good for different reasons. I didn’t want anything too complicated or time consuming (since by nature ice cream demands an overnight step,) but also wanted to make sure this was the saltiest, caramel-iest version I could find.  I’m so happy with this end result! The only thing I may change when I make it next is to experiment with cream vs. half and half/milk to see how much richness I can take away without compromising flavor. Guess I’ll just have to make it few more times to test it out. :)

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I know not everyone has an ice cream maker, and I totally get that they can be bulky and take up space. But- if you were ever going to get one for a specific recipe, this is the one! I have this inexpensive machine, and I love it. If you really want to try this but don’t see an ice cream maker in your future, try David Lebovitz’s “Ice Cream without a Machine” method here

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • For Caramel Candy Mix in:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, such as fleur de sel
  • For the Ice Cream Base:
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions

  1. To make the caramel praline, spread the ½ cup of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized, unlined heavy duty saucepan: . Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or spray it lightly with cooking spray
  2. Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved. (Or most of it—there may be some lumps, which will melt later.)
  3. Continue to cook stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn. It won’t take long.
  4. Right afterwards, sprinkle in the ¾ teaspoon salt without stirring, and immediately pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift it up immediately, tilting and swirling it almost vertically to encourage the caramel to form as thin a layer as possible. Set aside to harden and cool. Once cool- place caramel pieces into a large bag and crush with a rolling pin until pieces are small.

For Ice Cream:

  1. Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry large heavy skillet (I just rinsed the first one and used it again,) over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
  2. Add 1 1/4 cups cream (caramel will totally seize up ) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. (it may seem like something went wrong but it didn't, just stir the lumpy caramel patiently until it all melts.) Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
  4. Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard thickens and coats back of spoon (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
  5. Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3-6 hours (I always chill mine overnight.) Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then mix in the caramel bits. Store in an airtight container overnight or until ice cream firms up a bit!
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Recipes adapted from David Lebovitz and Gourmet

33 Comments

  1. Themessybakerblog says:

    Holy mother of pie! This looks amazing. I’m going to dream about this ice cream until I make it.

  2. Salted caramel is the best thing ever!! I’ve made David’s version of this and it’s delicious…now I want some… Lol

  3. That looks perfect! I’m with you on the salted caramel obsession – and I can’t wait to make this!

  4. Becca Looney says:

    Oh man you are a woman after my heart. This really looks amazing. I’ve never tried making ice cream because of the lack of ice cream maker but maybe some day i will make this :D

  5. Ok, ok you’re right :) I’m majorly obsessed with salted caramel!!!

  6. Susanne Voros says:

    I love salted caramel everything!!!! This ice cream looks amazing and I could eat it all by myself as long as no one was there to witness it happening. :)

  7. This ice cream has stolen my heart – how could you possibly resist it :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  8. This looks ah-ma-zing. I went over to David Lebovitz’s blog and was happy to see that he has a few recipes for making ice cream without an ice cream churn. I have always wanted one but my waistline would not fare well.

  9. I’m torn between trying this ice cream next, or the roasted banana ice cream posted by Baker Street yesterday. So many tasty options!

  10. Ooh that sounds good too! Whichever you try tomorrow- try this eventually and then let me know what you think. I haven’t really been able to share this with anyone and I need someone else to enjoy it! :)

  11. Ok sounds good :) Then I won’t be in the situation of eating this ice cream for breakfast 3 days in a row :)

  12. Yes! He has instructions that I linked to above as well :) Ice cream makers can be dangerous, but I also have made some yummy all-fruit options which are great!

  13. Becca- check out the instructions above for making it without a machine :) I’m sure this would still be amazing! :)

  14. Yeah- who am I kidding- mine isn’t mild either :)

  15. Yes! I think it would be so yummy sandwiched between some of your cookies?

  16. OOOH! I can’t wait to try this one out. I am obsessed with making ice cream right now (http://kellyscravings.com/2012/04/malted-milk-ice-cream), so this will have to be on my to do list very soon. The best salted caramel ice cream I had was in San Francisco. We traveled 45 minutes by bus just so I could have some!

  17. Mmm, salted caramel! THis looks amazing. I’ve got my ice cream maker bowl ready in the freezer for summer, I might have found my first recipe to break it in…

  18. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says:

    I love all things salted caramel! This ice cream looks wonderful!

  19. Oh, gosh, this is one irresistible ice cream! SO amazing…I wouldn’t be able to keep my spoon out of it :)

  20. Crojasandonie says:

    I made this last night. It is saltier than I thought it would be, but it is AMAZING. It tastes like a butterscotch or caramel candies that you find in your grandmothers purse (the yellow wrapping ones). It is super decadent too. I probably left the “custard” on the oven top (without letting it boil) a little longer while i constantly whisked it so it was thicker than usual, this may be why my ice cream is super thick and decadent. Love this recipe. Thanks!

  21. Mine was thick and rich too. So good right? Very glad you liked it :)

  22. We made this frozen custard tonight. The base sort of reminded me of dulce de leche before I put it in the ice cream maker. oh man, was hard not to eat all right out of the ice cream maker! I’ll definitely be making this version again…and now I have egg whites to whip together a pavlova for a “lighter” dessert!

  23. I know what you mean! My sister actually said it reminded her of Haagen Das Dulce de Leche Ice Cream. Glad you’re also a fan- and I had zero self-control :)

  24. I made this last weekend……. Wow!! It was amazing. Thanks for sharing.

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