Thank you, David Liebovitz, for ruining my diet.Â And not in an “oh, I forgot to go to the gym today” way.Â Not in an “oh, I really shouldn’t have eaten a cookie or two when my coworker brought them to work” way.Â In an, “oh, I really shouldn’t have made a pint of the most deliciously decadent, amazingÂ and heavenlyÂ 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.Â
I changed a few things about the recipe.Â 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.Â So I used that, and eliminated the extra cream.Â It still came out incredibly rich and delicious.Â (Have I mentioned yet that this ice cream was out-of-this-world good?Â Oh, once or twice?Â Well, it’s warranted.)Â 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).Â Finally, I halved the recipe and changed the proportions a tiny bit depending on what was on hand.Â
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.Â Mostly, I was afraid of burning the caramel and ruining my lovely pans!Â But, asÂ usual,Â my fear was totally unwarranted — although I did burn my first batch of caramel, nothing stuck to the pans.Â Phew!Â Want to see what burnt caramel looks like?
Big difference, huh?Â I gotÂ the hang of itÂ on the second batch, and eventually chopped up the hardened carmel into praline chunks to be stirred into the caramel ice cream base.Â Although, I have to say, if I was going to make this recipe again, I’d probablyÂ eliminate the praline pieces.Â 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.Â
Don’t they look cute though?Â 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.