- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon), though kosher salt works, too
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a heavy-bottom skillet (I use a 12″ stainless steel skillet), heat 1 cup of sugar over medium heat. Stir with a fork so the sugar heats evenly. As soon as melting begins, stop stirring with the fork. Using the handle of the pan, swirl the caramel occasionally to ensure the sugar continues to melt evenly. When the caramelized sugar turns a dark amber color, carefully pour in 2 cups of heavy cream and stir with a wire whisk. Adding the cream will cause the sugar to bubble, splatter, and seize up. The first time I made I made this ice cream, I thought I had done something wrong because the recipe from epicurious.com explained nothing in regards to the seizing of the caramel. Just continue to whisk until the hardened caramel dissolves. See images below for visualization of this process.
Once the liquid is homogeneous, remove from heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl. Stir in the sea salt and vanilla extract. Set aside. Meanwhile, combine the whole milk and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Allow caramel to cool 5-10 minutes before mixing in the whole milk/sugar. I then transfer the ice cream base to another bowl, pouring the mixture through a fine mesh sifter to remove any hard chunks of caramel that simply refused to dissolve. Place in the refrigerator over night to cool completely before freezing.
The next day, pour the ice cream base into your maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you prefer ice cream with soft-serve consistency, enjoy immediately upon completion of churning process. If you like a firmer consistency, store in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. Trust me, the final product is worth the wait.
Swirl the melting sugar in the skillet until it turns dark amber in color.
When you add the heavy cream to the melted sugar, the caramel will seize up.
Whisk the caramel and cream together – the cream will bubble and splatter.
Continue whisking the caramel/cream mixture until the hardened caramel (that’s stuck to the whisk) dissolves completely.