Kitchen fails suck, but they happen. It can be so disappointing to buy ingredients, make a recipe and then have it taste terrible, or even just edible. That said, I’ve recently overcome one of my biggest fail points. You see, I found an easy peasy, no-fail caramel sauce recipe. Figuring out how to make caramel was a big deal. Because now, I can make David Lebowitz’s salted caramel ice cream. Best. Ice cream. Ever.
There may be two people out there that are going to be bummed to hear that. You see, I promised a couple of our favorite dinner guests some, and then it wasn’t ready yet. And then Brian and I ate it all. Dangerously good, salt and caramel ice cream is surely exactly what the gods eat.
Because I am a newbie in the caramel department, I have adjusted the recipe to suit my new caramel making skills. One of the main things about making your own caramel is being sure to use regular old white granulated sugar. The molasses coating on brown or turbinado sugar gets in the way somehow. Also, make sure you have kosher or sea salt, as table salt will absolutely not do in this case.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream (adapted from David Lebovitz)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 eggs yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
3/4 – 1 cup caramel sauce (see here, or I think store-bought dulce de leche would also be delicious)
Pour the cream and milk into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir over medium heat until the mixture starts to steam. Meanwhile, put the yolks in a small heat proof bowl and whisk in ¼ cup sugar. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the warm cream mixture, ¼ cup at a time, into the eggs. You need to temper the eggs so they won’t curdle when added to cream. When the eggs are warmed, slowly whisk into the cream. Stirring constantly, cook over low heat for 5 minutes or less, or until the custard has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add the vanilla extract.
Pour the custard into a large bowl (I have found that tempered glass is best), cover, and chill over ice water for 2 hours. Process according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions, adding the chilled caramel and seal salt after 15 minutes when the ice cream starts to shape up. Remove from ice cream maker and freeze for at least 3 hours.
Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt and drink in the accolades. You are awesome.