Salted Caramel Ice Cream

So, I had another post planned for today, but I just HAD to share this recipe with you. Salted caramel ice cream has become my absolute new favorite flavor. Last week, my sister brought over salted caramel Talenti Gelato, and it was total killer. But, it got me thinking about making it myself. I have never been a huge sweet and salty person, but I just knew I had to make this ice cream. I looked around the internet and immediately found my favorite ice cream maker's recipe. This definitely was a labor intensive recipe, but I was determined to make it, regardless.

Oh.My.Word. It is heavenly. Dreamy. Creamy. Out of this world amazing. I kid you not. I am pretty sure I ended up eating all of this within days of making it. There was no saving here. I couldn't wait to eat lunch, just so I could have this after. (Am I weird that I eat dessert after lunch?) It is the perfect balance between sweet and salty. I think I have been converted. You want to make this. Today. Now.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

For the caramel praline (mix-in)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the ice cream custard

  • 2 cups whole milk, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter

  • scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 5 large egg yolks

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the caramel praline, line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or brush it sparingly with unflavored oil and set aside.

To make the caramel praline, spread the 1/2 cup of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized heavy duty saucepan.

Heat the sugar over medium heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof spatula to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until most of the sugar is dissolved. (There might be some lumps, but they will dissolve later)

Continue to cook stirring frequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn, 3-5 minutes.

Immediately sprinkle in the 3/4 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 form as thin a layer as possible. Set aside to harden and cool.

To make the ice cream, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water until the cubes float. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts) over the ice, pour 1 cup of the milk into the smaller bowl, and rest a fine mesh strainer over it.

Spread 1 1/2 cups sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method as the caramel praline (but not spreading out on a cookie sheet).

Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream.

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 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 using a spatula, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170ºF.

Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla extract, 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.

While the ice cream is churning, crumble the hardened caramel praline into very little bits, about the size of very large confetti. I used the end of my rolling pin to smash it up.

Once your caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.

Note: As the ice cream sits, the little bits of caramel may liquefy and become gooey, which is what they’re suppose to do.

Source: David Lebovitz