Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Crunchy caramel bits
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt (fleur de sel)
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.