This honestly wasn't the easiest ice cream I've ever made, but it was definitely best. There were lots of mixing bowls involved. It required making both a custard and caramel on the stove top. It took forever to chill the mixture before I could put it in the ice cream maker. But I'd do it all over again-this was crazy delicious.
Here's a tip for you other caramel-making novices: when you add the cream to the sugar, keep the heat at medium. It bubbles like crazy, so I made the mistake of turning the heat down a little bit, and the caramel siezed up. I
We just ate this by itself, but I think it would be amazing scooped on a brownie or alongside some apple pie.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1. Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
2. Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
4. Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
5. Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.
Yield: Makes about 1 quart
Download a printable recipe.