Salty Caramel Ice Cream

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The weekend before last I attended the “Big Summer Potluck” which I like to call “Blogger Summer Camp.” It was held in the most beautiful area in Pennsylvania and was full of friendly chatter, yummy food, and loads of inspiration. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was getting to hear a talk by Jeni Britton Bauer the genius behind Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and my new favorite cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

She spoke about her journey to success, including several failures along the way. In speaking about her ice cream flavors, I remember her saying that Salty Caramel was the most popular flavor consistently over the years, and given my obsession with anything that combines “salty” and “caramel” I didn’t wasn’t much time giving it a try. I mean I had to know what all the fuss was about!!

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I’ve made several pints of homemade ice cream in my day, but I have to tell you that this batch was nothing like I’ve ever made at home. The process is so different, the ingredients are completely unlike most creamy ice creams I made, and the result blew me away. Straight out of the freezer when normally I’d be dealing with rock hard ice cream that needed 10 minutes to soften, this stuff was scoopable and creamy as can be! Also- the recipe is egg free and gets it’s creamy texture from the addition of cream cheese as well as a boiling process that does something magical to the milk.

No overnight chilling step is required in the recipe, and instead, an ice bath is used to quickly get the mixture to a cool enough temperature for churning. I was a little unsure about how this would work considering I usually swear by the overnight chilling step, but it worked just fine! Overall- I am totally sold by Jeni’s method and I’m so excited to try more of the fun and creative recipes from her book!

Salty Caramel Ice Cream

Yield: 1 qt of ice cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 ounces 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

PREP

  1. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
  3. Mix the cream with the corn syrup in a measuring cup with a spout.
  4. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

COOK

  1. In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, sprinkle about a tablespoon of the sugar into the bottom of the pan. Swirl the pan over the heat, lifting it slightly until it's melted. Sprinkle another tablespoon or so of the sugar and continue this process, swirl until melted, lift off heat, add more sugar, repeat. You want all the sugar to melt evenly, but you need to make sure it doesn't get too hot and burn. (You can also simply add 1/4 cup of water to all the sugar and make your caramel this way if you're afraid of the the dry sugar technique, but I don't find it too hard!)
  2. When sugar is all melted and a dark amber color, remove from the heat and, stirring constantly, slowly add a bit of the cream and corn syrup mixture to the caramel: It will bubble up and pop so be careful. Stir until well combined, then add a little more and stir. Keep adding the cream a little at a time until all of it is incorporated.
  3. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the milk. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch/milk mixture.
  4. Bring back to a boil over medium-high and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

CHILL

  1. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

FREEZE

  1. Churn in your ice cream maker according to instructions. When thick and creamy, spoon it into an airtight container and freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Supplies used for this recipe:

       -or-          

(I currently use the KitchenAid attachment, but for years prior I loved my inexpensive Hamilton Beach one)

Note: This post contains affiliate links- which means that when I link to products I like on Amazon, if you happen to purchase them- I may make enough money for a cup of coffee. :) Opinions are always always 100% my own.

26 Comments

  1. Ive been so obsessed with salted caramel ice cream..can’t stop eating it!! been dying to make it at home! Can’t wait to do it now! I made an ice cream with this same base from Jenis book last week…I was dying its sooo smooth & creamy! Can’t wait for this! Its my sister & I’s fav flavor as of now!!

  2. I’ve heard so many good things about salty caramel ice cream but never had the chance to eat it, yet! This process to make ice cream looks so different from the one I’m used to but, at the same time, looks easier and quicker and I love that it doesn’t require eggs! Can’t wait to try it out :)

    xo, Elisa

  3. I’ve made this before, and I agree–it’s FANTASTIC!!

    All the ice creams I’ve made from Jeni’s book have been great: Vanilla Bean (the best vanilla ice cream EVER), Kona Stout, Fresh Mint (which I turned into mint-chip), Roasted Pistachio (my husband’s favorite).

  4. Holy cow, this looks incredible. Melty ice cream happens to be my favorite :) I’m SO making this for my next ice cream batch!

  5. I tried Jeni’s ice cream for the first time at the Fancy Food Show and it was amazing. I’m so intrigued that you got the incredible texture without the egg/custard base. I absolutely need this in my life!

    1. Ok here’s the deal- you bring some cookies over- I stuff them with this ice cream. Sound good? :)

  6. Oh my goodness, this looks so smooth and creamy and perfect! I am being tortured with homemade ice cream recipes….gotta get myself an ice cream maker ASAP.

  7. I make ice cream all the time usually Philly style, no eggs, using heavy cream and milk. I do make egg based sometimes but prefer things to go a bit quicker. I’m interested to try using cream cheese and corn starch (seems odd) in this ice cream. The flavor sounds good just the process seems bizarre.

    1. It seemed odd to me at first- but trust me…it’s ice cream magic! :)

      1. Made it last night and it was a hit. Nice texture and the flavor is really nice. Also the texture is really silky the next day. (Yes I ate it before breakfast) It didn’t get rock hard like some homemade do assuming you don’t add liquor. I’m going to experiment on increasing the size of it so it will fill my 2 quart mixer. Normally I’m at 4 cups of milk and cream plus add ins. With the family diving in right after it was done there wasn’t much left. I think I could probably add another 1/4 c each of Milk and Cream without compromising the flavor. I’ll definitely need to check out that book. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Salted caramel is my favorite ice cream flavor right now. This looks so creamy and amazing!!

  9. stephanie says:

    Would it be too much to add a caramel swirl, or does it not need it. I love swirls in my ice cream…:)

    1. It definitely doesn’t need it- but in my world there can never be too much caramel :) Also- Jeni suggests added salted roasted almonds which would be delicious too!

  10. I’ve had salty caramel ice cream before but never Jeni’s recipe – I have to try it! I have used her method to make other flavors though, and it’s totally won me over too :) Great pics, Audra!

    1. Thanks Lady! I love this ice cream method! I’m so excited to make it again and again!

  11. I loved hearing her interview on Splendid Table. You’re so lucky to have gotten to hear her speak in person. This ice cream sounds phenomenal. Can’t wait to try it.

  12. Very delicious ice cream! I made some the other days. I really like this idea of making ice cream, too, and will definitely try some other flavors.

  13. Salted caramel just happens to be one of my favorite ice cream flavors :) this looks absolutely incredible!

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