Once upon a time I made an ice cream that I couldn’t even let freeze before I dove into it. It was so good that I stood over the ice cream maker with a long spoon, scraping it along the sides of the spinning contraption so that I could shovel the little bits of ice cream that were just starting to freeze into my overeager, shockingly impatient face.
That ice cream was this:
HOMEMADE SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM
If not yours, it’s at least the stuff my dreams are made of. This, and maybe an uninterrupted hour of reading time.
I know that the popularity of salted caramel seems to come and go. But it’s an every day and all time favorite of mine. And it makes one fantastic ice cream. I literally could not keep my hands of of this stuff. Every time I’d walk by the freezer I’d find myself sticking a spoon in the container of ice cream that was still trying to freeze. I will have it noted, however, that I DID share this with my husband. Not because I wanted to be nice or dispell his seemingly rock solid confirmation of my unwillingness to share desserts, but because he needed to understand just how good this stuff was.
And boy, did he understand. It became a battle of who could eat the most the fastest to get to the remaining serving left in the freezer.
I won. It’s important to do what it takes when the situation really matters, folks.
~KITCHEN HACK OF THE DAY~
Turn making homemade caramel into an easy task by cooking it in a frying pan. Make sure the sides of the pan are about an inch high. Cooking the caramel in a shallow pan will make the sugar cook faster as more of it will be touching the pan. Don’t forget to keep a little bowl of water next to it so that you can dip a pastry brush into it and wash down the sides of the pan as the sugar cooks. You don’t need to do this for the entire duration of the cooking, just the first minute or so while the sugar dissolves. This washes any sugar crystals down that may form on the sides. Sugar crystals = crystallized caramel.
Also, when you mix cream into the caramel to make a sauce, make sure that the cream is boiling hot. The mixture will bubble up something fierce, so make sure your hands are protected by oven mits. The hot cream will blend into the caramel easily, resulting in a smooth sauce that you don’t have to stir to death to combine. Never pour cold cream in! It will cause your caramel to harden right then and there with no hope of mixing in without heating up all over again.
- 1½ C. Sugar
- ½ C. Water
- 1 C. Heavy cream, hot
- 2 T. Butter
- Kosher Salt, to taste
- 1¾ C. Heavy Cream, chilled
- 1½ C. Whole Milk
- ½ T. Vanilla
- Place the sugar and water in a sauce pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Heat on high and bring to a boil.
- Using a basting brush dipped in water, brush the sides of the pan down to dissolve any sugar crystals that form.
- Continue cooking until the sugar starts to turn a deep amber. As soon as it reaches this point, immediately remove it from the heat or it will burn.
- Wearing oven mits on your hands,slowly pour the hot heavy cream into the caramel and whisk it in. The mixture will bubble severely, but will calm down as you keep mixing. Add the butter to the mixture and mix in until is is melted and fully incorporated.
- Add kosher salt to the caramel, little by little, tasting, until desired saltiness is achieved.
- Pour half of the caramel into an air tight container and set out at room temperature to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining half of the caramel, chilled cream, milk, and vanilla.
- Refrigerate until cold.
- Stir together well after chilling and freeze it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer instructions.
- When the ice cream is fully frozen, pour the room temperature caramel in to the ice cream and let it swirl through the mixture.
- Scoop into a container and freeze until firm.