I must confess, my ice cream never did its magical ice cream thing in the ice cream maker. It was a hot day, and the ice cream maker was in a hot kitchen, but it doesn’t really matter—this stuff is amazing. After about an hour of churning with no freezing, I poured my mixture into a container and placed it in the freezer. The next day I had super-delicious ice cream of the “I can’t believe I made something that tastes like this” variety. It is salty and sweet and smooth and cold and awesome.
Mike though it tasted like Butter Brickle. I don’t think I have ever had Butter Brickle ice cream (I guess Mike was more sophisticated in his ice cream choices as a child than I was). I would compare it to Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Brittle ice cream (if you aren’t interested in making ice cream at the moment, you should go try some of the Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Brittle right now).
What You Need
For the ice cream base:
- 1 c whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3/4 c sugar
- 2 c heavy cream
For the caramel:
- 1 1/4 c sugar
- 3/4 c heavy cream
- 2 t flaky sea salt
- 1 T vanilla extract (the original recipe calls for “pure Tahitian” vanilla, but I used the regular stuff you can get in any grocery store)
What You Do
If your ice cream maker requires any parts to be frozen, make sure they are in the freezer getting cold.
To make the ice cream base:
Heat milk in a sauce pan over medium-low heat.
While the milk is warming, prepare an ice bath (set a 2 quart bowl over a large bowl that is partially filled with ice and water). Set a mesh strainer over the smaller bowl. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the yolks are pale yellow. Gradually pour the warmed milk into the yolks, whisking constantly. Return the milk mixture to the saucepan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The custard should thicken and coat the back of a wooden spoon when ready.
Pour the custard through the mesh strainer into the top bowl of the ice bath. Add 2 cups of heavy cream and stir the mixture over the ice bath until cool. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill (overnight is best).
To make the caramel and put it all together:
Add ice and water to a large bowl (fill the bowl about halfway). Set aside.
Place 3/4 cup of sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Stir the sugar with a fork until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and swirl the pan so the sugar melts evenly. Continue cooking until the melted sugar is a dark amber color (I’ve heard elsewhere that the sugar should be the color of a copper penny).
Add the 3/4 cup of heavy cream to the saucepan carefully, as the mixture will sputter. Cook, stirring constantly, until all of the caramel has dissolved into the cream. Transfer the mixture to a heat-proof bowl. Stir in the sea salt. Set the bowl into the bowl of ice and water. Stir the caramel until it is chilled to room temperature.
Combine the caramel with the ice cream base. Add the vanilla. Stir to combine.
Freeze the ice cream in an ice cream maker according the the manufacturer’s directions.