If there was ever any doubt that the universe is a good and happy place, one bite of this Caramel Ice Cream, will put all qualms to rest. It is virtually impossible to be unhappy knowing that such deliciousness exists!
If things caramel make you swoon, you’d better sit down for this one, because the intense caramel flavor of this is likely to make you dizzy. Yup, it’s that good!
Deeply caramel and not too sweet, it’s also got the most luxurious creamy and almost chewy consistency like you’d get if you ate one of those little caramel squares. Every decadent bite is totally worth the extra time needed working out to offset the damage!
Now, if you’re just the teensiest bit skittish about making caramel or you’ve maybe had burnt sugar disasters in the past, just follow my golden rule of caramel making; DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE POT!!! Not even for a second. Don’t get a drink, answer the phone, check your phone. Nada. All eyes on the pot because that sugar syrup can go from perfectly amber to bitter and burned in the blink of an eye. So now that we’ve got that all straightened out, let’s get started, shall we?
You start by melting a thin layer of sugar in a large pot—
Adding more thin layers of sugar that melt and eventually cook into a deeply caramelized syrup.
Off the heat, you add in the heavy cream and watch as it sizzles and bubbles up. Then you stir and stir over a low light to melt any little bits of hardened caramel.
After you temper the egg yolks with some of the hot caramel, the rest comes together like a breeze and you’re left with a bowl of gorgeous caramel custard batter. Now comes the truly hard part—waiting for it to chill so you can churn it!
Every silky bite has just the right balance of salty/sweet caramel goodness. It’s irresistible.
And with temps around here predicted to soar in the next few days, I think a container of this in the freezer is almost mandatory. Stay cool, my friends!
Caramel Ice Cream
Makes about 4 cups
You will need an ice cream maker for this. If you don’t have one, beg, borrow or steal!!
Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus 8 hours chilling time and time for churning
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 cups heavy cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
7 large egg yolks placed in a medium bowl (do this before you start preparing the custard)
1 1/2 cups cold whole milk
1. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium metal bowl and set it in a large bowl filled halfway with water and ice cubes. Set aside.
2. In a large heavy saucepan, sprinkle a thin, even layer of sugar across the bottom from the 1 1/4 cups and heat over medium heat, not touching it at all until the sugar is mostly melted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle on another layer of sugar and use a heatproof spoon or rubber spatula to stir around the edges and move the melted sugar into the center, until al the sugar is melted, about 1 minute. Repeat the entire process until all of the sugar is used up. Continue to cook, swirling the saucepan (don’t stir it) until the caramel is very liquid and turning a dark amber color. This will probably take another 5 minutes from the time that all of the sugar has actually melted. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the cream. The caramel will bubble up and harden—it’s ok. Return the pan to the stove and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until all of the little hard pieces have melted. Then add in the vanilla and the salt.
3. Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar for about 1 minute, until light and thick. Now whisking constantly, gradually add 1/2 cup of the hot caramel into the eggs. Add the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until the custard is thick enough to coat a spoon and begins to hold the marks of the whisk—this should take about 5-6 minutes. Strain the mixture through the sieve into the prepared bowl and let cool a bit. Add the milk and whisk together. Transfer to an airtight container and let chill for at least 8 hours and even better, overnight.
4. Give the custard a good stir and process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Freeze until firm, serve and hide in the back of the freezer somewhere if you want to have a prayer of enjoying this for more than a day or two!
Note: Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine. I stayed pretty close to the recipe but chilled the mixture overnight instead of making it right away.