Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

This was one of the best ice creams I’ve ever had.
Don’t be fooled by the “Salted” part of the name… the salt (use as much or little as you want) lifts the flavors to great effect.
This is pure indulgence so you’d want some acidic fruit or berry to cut through the richness… or just enjoy it on it’s own.

Ingredients for the salted butter caramel ice cream:
500 ml whole milk, divided
300 g sugar
60 g salted butter
Scant ½ teaspoon sea salt (preferably fleur de sel, otherwise Maldon)
250 ml heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparing the salted butter caramel ice cream:
Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved. (Or most of it—there may be some lumps, which will melt later.)
Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go. The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted. Stir in 250 ml of the milk.

Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read between 71 – 77 C.

To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a small bowl (enough for 2 l) in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Set a fine mesh strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the rest of the milk into the bowl.

Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla extract, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Transfer to a jug and chill until thoroughly chilled (preferably overnight).

Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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