Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 3/4 cups cream, heavy - at room temperature
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 large egg yolks
*These values are approximate. Per serving, based on a 2,000 Calorie diet.
To make the caramel, measure out 1/2 cup of the sugar. Put about half of that in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. When the sugar is melted and starts to turn amber in color, stir gently and add the remaining sugar. Stir the mixture frequently and watch it carefully as the sugar darkens, stirring to help it melt evenly. When the caramel becomes a dark brown color, remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the cream slowly into the pan (be very careful here as the mixture will bubble up! You want to avoid any splatters). When the bubbling subsides, gently stir to blend the cream completely into the caramel. If you have a few lumps of caramel in the pan, just put it back on the stove over low heat and stir until the caramel is melted.
Next, make the base. Once the caramel is completely smooth, stir in the milk along with the sea salt and put the pan back on the stove over medium-high heat. When the mixture starts to simmer and little bubbles form, reduce the heat to medium.
In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks together to break them up, then whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, while whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Next, you'll add the egg mixture to the pan with the rest of the hot cream. Stir the cream as you slowly pour the egg and cream mixture from the bowl back into the pan.
Continue to cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. It should coat the back of a spatula and leave a clear mark when you run your finger across it, about 2 minutes longer.
Set the pan into an ice bath on the counter and stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Once cool, cover the base with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
When the base is completely chilled, freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. You can enjoy the ice cream right away, or freeze for a few house if you prefer a firmer ice cream. Store any leftovers in a tightly-covered container in the freezer.