And my love story with caramel continues. I feel caramel is to this winter what basil meant to me this summer. Not that I’m over basil. I still crave Caprese sandwiches and salads even on cold winter days, when I should be craving warm soups. Either way, any new year’s resolutions about fitness can quickly go astray when there is either caramel or mozzarella involved. Anyway, with this ice cream, I actually inaugurated my brand new Cuisinart ice-cream, gelato and sorbet-maker, which I got as a Christmas present!
Verdict: delicious ice-cream, cannot wait to try other delicious and novel flavors! (Though I do see a tiny glitch with this recipe. The ice-cream does not stay hard beyond a few minutes after being taken out of the freezer, and I’m wondering whether the sea salt is lowering the freezing point of this custard. Thoughts? Similar experiences?) Still, it’s barely worth complaining as I love that soft-serve like texture!
Recipe from Epicurious. Please read the full recipe before starting, as many hours of cooling the custard are required, and this is not kind of ice-cream you can whip up in just an hour or two.
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon (with 3/4 teaspoon, the salt flavor is pretty pronounced, which I like. If you like a more subtle salt flavor, reduce it to 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- Equipment: an ice cream maker, instant-read thermometer
- Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
- Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
- Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
- Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 5- 6 hours (though I actually left it overnight in the fridge to chill).
- Freeze custard in ice cream maker for around 25-30 minutes (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.