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Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted. Caramel. Ice cream. Is there anything more decadent? Sugar caramelized to a dark mahogany gets blended with milk, cream, and eggs, and just the right amount of sea salt and vanilla. Try this over the holidays – not for Christmas, no – but over the long days afterwards.

Let it cool and then chill overnight

Salted caramel ice cream base, flanked by vanilla and salt

This is the recipe I use, though I admit I leave out the praline, and with NZ dairy, I use 2 cups of cream to 1 cup of milk for a firmer texture. Avoid oversalting it -  too much salt keeps it from freezing. I recommend chilling the mix overnight in the refrigerator, in a glass or metal bowl. Glass or metal gets the mix even colder. Then, make your ice cream first thing in the morning. This is particularly important in the summer, before your kitchen warms up from the heat of the day, or from other cooking. It’s also helpful when you are wrangling more-reluctant-to-freeze flavors at home: these are ones that include chocolate, liqueur, or, you guessed it, salt and caramel.

Let it chill in the maker, bro


Once it’s as frozen as your ice cream maker can get it, you’ll need to freeze it for 3 to 8 hours to firm up even more.

You can recycle another ice cream container

Decanted and ready to freeze

Even after freezing, it can still be soft, for an ice cream.

Real ice cream melts when you photograph it.

Scoopable right out of the freezer.

I like to serve this as one or two small scoops, with a scattering of toasted chopped almonds, and a dollop of whipped cream – a layered and understated ice-cream sundae. Any chocolate sauce is overkill, and salted caramel ice cream is often too soft to survive the affogato treatment, but some cacao nibs would work.

You're so beautiful, in every single way

With a dollop of whipped NZ cream, perfection.

One time, I made a double batch of this base and some mad scientists froze it with nitrogen. Incredible, and a crowd-pleaser for a sophisticated crowd.

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