Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted caramel anything is good in my book, but this ice cream really is amazing! Once I get into ice cream mode in the summer, I want to make a new flavor every week. This week I was on the hunt for a good recipe for salted caramel ice cream. I searched all over for some recipe ideas and came across a few favorites …

  • David Lebovitz’s recipe seemed to inspire a lot of other ice cream makers but it was a little too labor intensive for me. 
  • I love everything from the Brown Eyed Baker so I had to check out her recipe as well. She used just egg yolks – an ice cream style that I follow – so I definitely read her recipe very carefully. 
I even checked out my trusty Joy of Cooking for ideas…

In the end, I settled on a hodge-podge recipe from a wide range of authors and I am more than pleased with my final result! 

Ingredients for the salted caramel: 
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Ingredients for the custard base:
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
4 egg yolks
Directions for the caramel…

Medium brown color – remove from heat

Begin by making the salted caramel. I have tried unsuccessfully to make caramel in the past. However, for some reason, the thought that the caramel was just part of the process and not the end result seemed to take the pressure off.

The salted caramel … Delicious!!!

Start by heating 1 cup sugar and 1 cup of cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the cream and sugar start to turn a little brown. I might have gone too slowly, or over too low of a temperature, but this part took me at least 15 minutes – probably closer to 20. When you see the brown color start to emerge, remove from heat and gradually add in 1 teaspoon vanilla, stir. Add the salt and the milk. Continue stirring.  Set aside to cool a bit. The house will smell amazing! Try not to eat it by the spoonful right out of the pan.

Let the salted caramel custard chill

Directions for the custard base … 

When I make ice cream custard, I prefer to use only egg yolks. For some reason, every time I use egg whites, I manage to “cook” my eggs and the result is not pretty! Combine 1 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup half and half, and a little bit of sugar. Because the caramel is so sweet, you might want to use even less than the 1/4 cup of sugar that I used. Gently bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Whisk together the four egg yolks. Gradually add some of the warm cream mixture back into the eggs very slowly so as not to cook the eggs. When you have added most of the cream into the eggs, pour everything back into the saucepan and let it cool for a few minutes.

After the custard has cooled for just a bit – 5 to 10 minutes – combine the caramel with the custard. Stir well. Cover and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least a few hours – I generally prefer to let it chill overnight.

Making the ice cream … 

Remove the mixture from the fridge and follow the directions on your ice cream machine. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container and let it set up for about an hour. Enjoy!! 

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

2 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Ice Cream”

  1. Amanda (your former nanny/babysitter)

    Hi Erin,
    I wanted to make ice cream today (Ross was hinting about it yesterday), and I randomly thought about your food blog…. so I’m going to make this today! Also wanted to share with you the best homemade ice cream recipe I have ever made… so good, and it seems that you appreciate the blueberry/lemon combination.

    I hope you guys are doing well, say hi to the kids for me!

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