salted caramel ice cream
One of my earliest blog posts (second, to be exact) featured some lovely Salted Caramel Double Chocolate Cookies, and in this post my obsession for all things caramel-salted manifests itself once again. A rare sunny day this week prompted me to unearth the ice cream maker from the depths of our kitchen cupboard and make this wickedly rich and decadent creamy concoction. To be savoured in small quantities with great relish because (and I’m not going to lie to you), you WILL feel guilty eating this. But it’s worth it.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
(from Gourmet, August 2009)
makes 1 quart
1 1/4 cups golden caster sugar
2 1/4 cups double cream
1/2 tsp fleur de sel (or maldon salt)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
Heat 1 cup of the sugar in a dry pan on a medium heat, stirring with a fork to distribute sugar evenly. Once it starts to melt stop stirring and cook, swirling the pan occasionally to allow all the sugar to melt and turn a dark amber. Once it does, quickly remove from heat (or it will keep cooking and burn).
Add in 1 1/4 cups cream (be careful – the mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved and it is smooth and runny. Pour into a bowl and stir in the sea salt and vanilla extract. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, bring the milk and remaining cream and sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Lightly whisk eggs in a bowl, then add half of the hot milk mixture in a thin steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon. Do not let the liquid boil or it will curdle (once it registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer it is ready). Pour custard through a fine sieve into a large bowl, then stir in the cooled caramel.
Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold (3-6 hours). Then churn the custard in ice cream maker until it holds together but is still quite soft. Place in an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up (do note that when it is ready it will still feel softer than regular ice cream).
Top each scoop with a few flakes of fleur de sel before serving.