Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

February 11th, 2008


Thank you, David Liebovitz, for ruining my diet.  And not in an “oh, I forgot to go to the gym today” way.  Not in an “oh, I really shouldn’t have eaten a cookie or two when my coworker brought them to work” way.  In an, “oh, I really shouldn’t have made a pint of the most deliciously decadent, amazing and heavenly ice cream that has ever existed on this planet… and then eaten the whole thing” way.

But, seriously, when David Liebovitz called this recipe the best caramel ice cream you can get, he had to know he was going to ruin a lot of diets. 

I changed a few things about the recipe.  The original recipe called for milk and cream — I had milk from the farmer’s market that was a bottle of whole milk with some cream on the top, and fresher than you can imagine.  So I used that, and eliminated the extra cream.  It still came out incredibly rich and delicious.  (Have I mentioned yet that this ice cream was out-of-this-world good?  Oh, once or twice?  Well, it’s warranted.)  Also, I used turbino sugar instead of regualar white sugar, because it has a richer flavor, and I think melts better (I did the praline with white sugar to compare, and very much preferred the turbino).  Finally, I halved the recipe and changed the proportions a tiny bit depending on what was on hand. 

And I will admit: I picked this recipe in particular because I am afraid to death of making caramel, and I wanted to get over that fear.  Mostly, I was afraid of burning the caramel and ruining my lovely pans!  But, as usual, my fear was totally unwarranted — although I did burn my first batch of caramel, nothing stuck to the pans.  Phew!  Want to see what burnt caramel looks like?


Big difference, huh?  I got the hang of it on the second batch, and eventually chopped up the hardened carmel into praline chunks to be stirred into the caramel ice cream base.  Although, I have to say, if I was going to make this recipe again, I’d probably eliminate the praline pieces.  I wasn’t totally in love with them, and I found that I spent a lot of time picking around the pieces to get to the caramel ice cream. 

Don’t they look cute though?  I might get the best of both worlds by serving these in pieces alongside the ice cream, for people to use as a topping!


Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
Adapted from David Liebovitz

For the caramel praline:
1/4 cup turbino sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the ice cream:
1 1/2 cups farmer’s market whole milk with cream (or a mix of 1 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup cream)
1/2 cup turbino sugar
1 tablespoon salted butter
Pinch of sea salt
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To make the caramel praline, spread the 1/4 cup of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized saucepan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat and have it nearby.
2. Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt, and then stir until all the sugar is liquid.
3. The moment that all the sugar is liquid, and all clumps have disappeared, sprinkle in the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pour the caramel onto the silipat sheet, tilting it to encourage the caramel to form a thin layer. Set aside to harden and cool.
4. Spread 1/2 cup of sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until sugar dissolves into liquid.
5. Once dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until the butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the milk, 1/2 cup at a time, and add vanilla, stirring as you go. Return to the heat on low, and stir until all the caramel has dissolved into the milk.
6. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook the custard, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens.
7. Place a mesh strainer over your ice cream maker bowl. Strain the custard into the ice cream maker, discarding any solids.
8. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Churn for at least an hour, until ice cream is of soft-serve texture.
9. Crumble the hardened caramel praline into very little pieces, and set aside.
10. Once the caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.

Makes a little less than 1 pint.

Tags: desserts · food

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream // Feb 11, 2008 at 11:35 am

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  • 2 Katherine // Feb 11, 2008 at 11:56 am

    This has got to be the most amazing thing to eat. I really, really want some now.

  • 3 NuJoi // Feb 11, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I’m excited!!!  This looks and sounds wonderful!  Cinnamon and now caramel, I see a trend forming …

  • 4 Aimee // Feb 11, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Wow, that looks delicious!  And the dangers of caramel are seriously offset by the unsurpassed joy of eating it…diet, schmiet!

  • 5 katie // Feb 11, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I refuse to buy an ice cream maker… I find my will-power to be stonger in the store looking at the price tag than it ever would be looking at it sitting on my counter.  And I know it would disappear completly if I ever used it…
    But, damn! That looks good!!!!!

  • 6 Ann // Feb 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Evil. And I also refuse to buy one of those infernal machines. 🙂

  • 7 emily // Feb 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    I’m with Aimee.  She sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders.  diet schmiet!  We should make t-shirts.  I don’t even typically love caramel, but this looks beautiful and delicious.  Next step: find a way to send this stuff to the UK!!  Are we going to see “different ways to steam your vegetables” for a while now!? I hope not!!

  • 8 katy // Feb 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Katherine — I’ll make it for you the next time you’re in NYC!  Trust me, this recipe will be made again, and again… 🙂

    NuJoi — Thanks!!!

    Aimee — Haha, I agree, but my poor burned finger begs to differ…

    Katie — No kidding!  Once you’ve made one or two batches, willpower is a thing of the past.

    Ann — Haha!  Evil in the best way. 🙂

    Emily — Oh, you have no idea how many ways there are to steam vegetables…  and eat ricecakes… and, um, exercise…

  • 9 Emiline // Feb 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    That’s it!  I’m coming to NYC with Katherine, and we’re going to stop by your house.

    I remember when he posted this.  It looks so good!  I think I would skip the praline pieces, too.  Or maybe just grind them up a lot.

  • 10 Adele // Feb 11, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Salt caramels are one of my favorite sweets… salt caramel ice-cream sounds delicious beyond belief. It’s a good thing I don’t have an ice-cream maker (yet.)

    Btw, don’t worry too much if you do burn caramel and it sticks in the pan. If you pour hot water into the pan and then put it on heat until it comes to a boil, it’ll dissolve the sugar and spare you the unpleasantness of standing at the sink, trying to scrub it out.

  • 11 holler // Feb 11, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Wow, that sounds very, very tempting! I love David Lebovitz, he is a wicked, wicked man! I think I would have skipped the prailine too, although it does make a gorgeous photo!

  • 12 brilynn // Feb 11, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I made this last summer, it really is to die for!

  • 13 katy // Feb 11, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Emiline — Sounds like a plan!

    Adele — That is a great suggestion — I will remember that for sure!  Any tips on getting caramelized onion gunk off your pans?

    Holler — He’s absolutely wicked, but what would we do without him?!?  Homemade ice cream just wouldn’t be the same.

    Brilynn — It is!!!

  • 14 Adele // Feb 12, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Caramelized onion gunk? As long as it’s not in a cast-iron pan, you could try water with a little vinegar. It’ll smell pretty awful, but it should either dissolve it or soften it up enough to scrub off easily.

  • 15 Deborah // Feb 12, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I am drooling!!  I have wanted to make this, and now I just might have to this weekend!

  • 16 MyKitchenInHalfCups // Feb 13, 2008 at 4:37 am

    In the ice cream or on the side, please don’t leave it out!  Katy I believe this makes you an accessory to the diet killer!
    I guess if you ate the whole thing, there’s no need for me to rush over with bowl and spoon. . .

  • 17 Patricia Scarpin // Feb 13, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Oh, Katy, don’t do that to me, please – just when I’m back to my WW points… Have mercy! 🙂

    It looks decadently delicious.

  • 18 MrsPresley // Feb 15, 2008 at 12:20 am

    oh my! you are making me really wish i had an ice cream maker!

  • 19 Charcuterista // Feb 20, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Salt, butter, and ice cream – three of my favorite things – all in one?!?!?  I’m going to dig out my ice cream maker right now.  Last week I managed to resist the Nutella ice cream on Chocolate and Zucchini’s blog, but this has broken me down…

  • 20 Cardamom Pancakes | sugarlaws // Feb 21, 2008 at 10:34 am

    […] boy was I right.  I used this milk in place of cream for my salted butter caramel ice cream, with no loss of texture or richness.  This milk is so flavorful and delicious, it’s almost […]

  • 21 Ann // May 12, 2008 at 4:49 am

    You guys who don’t want ice cream machines just don’t know what you’re missing!! I absolutely LOVE having one; you cannot believe the fun I have making totally bizarre ice creams in no time at all. FAN-tastic.

  • 22 Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » February 2008 Roundup // May 23, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    […] adventures, Crepes Suzette from Seduction Meals, baked cheesecake & fig tart from stonesoup, Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream from sugarlaws, Spiced Potato Doughnuts from Sweet and Savory Eats, Cherry Coconut Banana Bread […]

  • 23 Elizabeth // Oct 22, 2008 at 12:18 am

    It looks delicious, and I am totally going to try it. That milk you got from the farmer’s market was whole milk only if you mixed the cream into the milk itself, though. Cow’s milk naturally separates into skim milk and cream. I know this because I have goats and their milk is infuriating to separate to isolate the cream and the milk for butter, etc.

  • 24 Cardamom Pancakes | Sugarlaws // Oct 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    […] boy was I right.  I used this milk in place of cream for my salted butter caramel ice cream, with no loss of texture or richness.  This milk is so flavorful and delicious, it’s almost […]

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  • 26 recipe: caramel sandwich cookies | Sugarlaws // Mar 10, 2014 at 5:30 am

    […] I’ll face it: I’m a little obsessed.  On this site, I’ve made homemade caramel sauce, caramel mousse, caramel fudge cookies, caramel syrup, caramel cupcakes, marshmallow caramel bars, and, of course, caramel ice cream.  […]

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