As the weather heats up, there's one dessert we will always have room for...ice cream! We love the salted caramel ice cream from Sweet Rose Creamery, so we decided to try our hand at making it at home. We followed David Lebovitz's recipe as we loved the extra decadence the bits of praline added. The end result? A perfect combination of salty, sweet, and creamy.
Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
(Original recipe here)
½ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon sea salt
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.
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. There may be some lumps, but don't worry, they'll melt!
Continue to cook stirring until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn. Without hesitation, sprinkle in the ¾ teaspoon salt without stirring, then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift up the baking sheet 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.
Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream Custard
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they’re floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts/liters) over the ice, pour 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it.
Spread 1½ cups sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method described for the caramel praline. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go. The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of the milk.
Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens and reaches 160-170 F (71-77 C).
Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions (we used the KitchenAid stand mixer ice cream attachment). While the ice cream is churning, crumble the hardened caramel praline into very little bits. Once your caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.