Salted Caramel Ice Cream

For my birthday this year my sister bought me an ice cream recipe book. It was the perfect gift because I’ve been obsessed with making homemade ice cream recently. But I was a bit skeptical that anything in the book could top the insanely delicious ice cream I’ve already made.


The first recipe I decided to try was a caramel recipe – mainly because my dad was in town and he loves caramel. This recipe yields and intense caramel flavor. It’s not for the faint of heart. But the most surprising part about the ice cream was the texture. It was hands down the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever had. Maybe even creamier than “custard” if you’ve ever had custard. (Custard is not a popular frozen treat out here on the West coast but it’s hugely popular in the Midwest and I believe it’s also at least somewhat popular on the East coast.)


  • 1 3/4 c. heavy cream at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks


  1. Make the caramel: Set the cream by the stove so it’s at hand when you need it. Measure out 1/2 cup of the sugar and set near the stove; you’ll use this for the caramel (the rest will go into the yolks). Put 2 tablespoons of the sugar for the caramel in a heavy nonreactive sauce pan and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the sugar is melted around the edges and starts to turn amber in places (about 2 minutes), stir the mixture gently and add another 2 tablespoons sugar to the pan. Continue to add what remains of the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring frequently and allowing most the sugar to melt before you add more. Watch carefully as the sugar darkens, stirring gently to help it melt evenly. When the caramel becomes a dark mahogany color, remove the pan from the heat and immediately but slowly pour the cream into the pan. The mixture will steam and bubble up so you might want to wear oven mitts to avoid splatter/burns. When the babbling subsides,  gently stir to completely blend the cream into the caramel. If you have lumps of hardened caramel in the pan (I did), simply put the pan over low heat and stir until the caramel is melted. (I had to do this and this seemed to take fooooorever, fust and FYI.)
  2. Make the base: Once the caramel is completely smooth, stir in the milk along with the salt and put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks to just break them up, then whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside.  Carefully scoop out about half cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the ream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another half cup of the hot ream. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream into the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan. Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of the spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer. (My mixture seemed pretty thick.)
  3. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. (Or let chill in the fridge overnight.) Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
  4. Freeze the ice cream: When completely chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Enjoy immediately or freeze at least four hours for a more firm ice cream.

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Recipe rating: 


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