Salted Butter Caramel Ice Crème de la Crème

If I could borrow from Sinatra: nothing but the best is good enough. I'm not talking Lincolns or lobsters from Maine. A bullfight in sunny old Spain would be nice, but I'm not sure it would beat out salted butter caramel ice cream. This is sweet caramel on caramel action. The crème de la ice crème.

If you've ever loved ice cream. If you've ever felt you've needed it at all. If you've ever had a broken heart. Found a goldfish belly up. Been in a hot pant for an ice cream float.

If you've ever possessed, at one time or another, strong views on deep, dark caramel. If you like the crunchy candy bits in butter crunch ice cream. Then this is the ice cream to keep in reserves.

And it's taken directly from David Lebovitz's playbook. An American pastry transplant living in Paris, Lebovitz knows his way around the sugar bowl. And for those familiar with the legendary Berthillion ice cream in the city of lights, Lebovitz asserts that his version is better than their famed glace caramel.

A dangerous statement. (With this he may as well be a matador; ice cream lovers, like bulls, can get pretty roused.) Luckily, boy does he deliver as promised.

For those that think butter has been overplayed. For those that think salted desserts are o-v-e-r. Think again. They aren't. They're timeless. Like Sinatra. And salt.

So tally-ho. Off we go. You and me, on an ice cream spree. Let's get started. Right away.

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz

Crunchy caramel bits
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt (fleur de sel)

Ice cream
2 cups whole milk, divided
1.5 cups sugar
4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp sea salt (fleur de sel)
1 cup heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

Brush a sheet pan generously with butter. Spread 1/2 cup sugar on the bottom of a medium-sized saute pan. Heat on moderate heat until the edges of the sugar begin to melt; slowly spread melting sugar into the middle of the pan, towards the center, until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook until the sugar deepens in color, until it starts to smoke and nearly starts to burn. Add in salt and quickly pour onto the baking sheet; shift and swirl sheet to spread out caramel. Let cool. Cover.

Meanwhile, make an ice bath with ice cubes and water in a medium bowl and place a smaller bowl on top of the bath. Pour 1 cup of whole milk into the small bowl and rest a mesh strainer on top. Place 1.5 cups sugar in a sauce pan and cook similarly as above, until caramelized. Meanwhile, place egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Once sugar is caramelized, remove from heat and add butter and salt. When butter is melted, add in the cream. The caramel may seize, but continue to stir until any hard caramel that has formed has melted again. Stir in the remaining cup of milk.

Gradually pour small amounts of the hot caramel mixture into the egg yolks to gently heat. Once eggs have tempered, add egg mixture into caramel and cook until it thickens and registers 160-170.

Pour custard through mesh strainer and stir in with remaining milk. Refrigerate until cook, ideally overnight.

Freeze in an ice cream maker, according to instructions. It will generally take 20-30 minutes. While ice cream is freezing, break up the caramel on the baking sheet into small bits. At the very end of the churning add in the caramel pieces.

-The high amount of sugar in this recipe means that it will stay slightly softened (and lovely) in your freezer so you don't have to let it thaw ahead of time.

-If you've ever had an adult ice cream float (or have wanted to have one), this ice cream is perfect with Guinness. I promise.


  1. I am drooling at these ice cream pictures and craving an adult ice cream float...before 9 AM!

  2. Salted caramel ice-cream with Guinness? I'm sold!

  3. My husband doesn't like sweets but even he thinks this sounds good!

  4. I do LOVE ice cream and this has my mouth totally watering over it!

  5. OMG this sounds like the best ice cream in the world! I LOVE caramel and I think sweet and salty is perfection. YUM!

  6. yummy yummy yummy

    love a bit of salted caramel

  7. i'm up for some caramel on caramel action. always.

  8. Love caramel Emily... especially in ice cream.

  9. Yummo!
    that looks delish :D

  10. I love the beautiful intro and the beautiful picture. Timeless like Sinatra, oh yes.

  11. wow! i seriously think i could eat an entire tub of your ice cream!!

  12. David Lebovitz has the absolute best ice cream. Will have to flag this one in my copy of The Perfect Scoop. It sound delicious.