Saturday, January 09, 2010

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Growing up, I wasn’t a huge fan of caramel. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike it, it’s just that I never had any cravings for it. But recently, on several occasions, I’ve tasted good-quality salted caramel, and that is a different matter entirely. Salt makes all the difference. So when I saw this ice cream recipe, I decided to give it a whirl. It was serendipity that I happened to have a dozen egg yolks left over from making angel food cake. You should know that the finished ice cream still contains raw eggs, so if you are avoiding them for any reason, this is not the recipe for you. Also, even though I use lactase drops in the cream, I haven’t quite figured out yet how many I have to use to get rid of all the lactose. Let me know if you’ve found a ratio that works for you!

1 ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
2 tsp light corn syrup
2 cups cream (with lactase drops if you wish)
2 cups (lactose-free) milk
10 large egg yolks (I used 12)
½ tsp fleur de sel, plus more for serving

Place ¾ cup sugar and the corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Do not stir. Place the pan over medium-high heat, and cook the mixture to a very dark amber-color caramel, swirling the pan as it begins to brown to distribute the sugar.

Add the cream; then slowly add the milk. The caramel will seize and harden once in contact with the cold cream and milk; this is normal. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer it, stirring, just until the caramel has dissolved.

Meanwhile, place the yolks in a large bowl with the remaining ½ cup sugar and the fleur de sel. Whisk to combine.

When the caramel cream is ready, pour a splash of it into the egg mixture to temper, whisking constantly, and then another splash or two for good measure. Then pour the tempered egg mixture into the caramel cream. Whisk thoroughly.

Pour the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a medium metal bowl. Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool the mixture completely. Remove the bowl from the ice bath, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. You’ll notice that this came pretty close to spilling from my KitchenAid!

Thankfully, very soon after that picture was taken, I heard the tell-tale clicking that let me know the mixture was ready to be frozen (it had a soft-serve consistency at that point).

Serve with additional fleur de sel sprinkled on top (seriously, it makes such a difference).

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