This is happening.
I have a serious obsession with salted caramel - like in my Starbucks's salted caramel hot chocolate knockoff or my ultimate banana cream pie. It all started a few years ago when I went to visit my oldest brother, Ben, in Seattle. He took us to Molly Moon's and I ordered their Salted Caramel ice cream. It's insane. They use a tastebud-shocking amount of salt but it just makes the ice cream that much better. Adding salt to caramel, or chocolate for that matter, helps deepen and enhance the sweetness.
I love making ice cream in the Summer. In Tennessee, where I grew up, it's pretty much a essential part of any backyard barbecue. The laughter, games, and chatting with friends is usually accompanied by the steady hum of the ice cream machine whirring around. Just thinking about that makes me smile.
If you don't have an ice cream machine, don't worry, you can still make this! Check out David Lebovitz's method here.
I've been wanting to make natural ice creams (so I can eat it more often) and a few weeks ago I suddenly realized that a honey based caramel would be perfect:
First pour honey into the bottom of a heavy pan.
Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
After a few minutes it will turn this lovely amber color. It's now caramelized!
Immediately, so as not to let it burn, pour in heavy cream and milk.
Whisk a bit of the caramel into four egg yolks to temper them. Otherwise they'll scramble on you. Then quickly whisk the heated eggs into the creamy caramel.
Add sea salt.
Cook, stirring constantly, for about five minutes - as soon as it starts to thicken, you're done.
Chill the custard and then pour it into your ice cream machine - follow whatever directions your machine requires.
After 15 minutes mine was soft-serve style and ready to be consumed.
Yep. Homemade ice cream is perfection.
You can serve it immediately or pack it into a container and freeze it for a few hours. The lovely thing about this honey caramel ice cream is that it will always stay pretty soft. Honey is one of those weird liquids that never freezes completely solid so the ice cream stays perfectly creamy and scoop-able.
Go. Make some. It's 100% natural and even more delicious.
Salted Honey Caramel Ice Cream
Yields 1.5 pints
1/2 cup honey
16 oz. heavy cream
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Pour honey into a heavy saucepan. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly. As soon as the honey turns a deep amber color, pour in cream and milk; stirring to combine. Whisk egg yolks together in a bowl, add about 1/4 cup of the hot honey cream, whisking while pouring, to temper the eggs. Repeat with another 1/4 cup. Then pour the tempered egg yolks into the saucepan, whisking constantly, and cook over medium-low heat for about five minutes; until the mixture has thickened into a sauce-like custard. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and sea salt.
Pour the hot custard into a clean bowl and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours. When the custard is cool, pour it into your ice cream machine and follow its directions to churn it into ice cream. As soon as it reaches the soft-serve stage, you can pull it out and enjoy! Or pack it into a container and freeze for later - the ice cream will remain pretty soft due to the honey.