Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Salted brown sugar caramel walnut ice cream

What else can be said? It's ice cream. It's salted caramel. It's got brown sugar. It's got walnuts.

It's really, really, really, really good. I mean ... really.

Sure, you sort of have to make caramel first, but that's not really a big deal. I mean, that's just melted sugar and stuff.

And it doesn't have to be a perfect caramel. You're not serving it as a caramel, so the thickness isn't an issue.

As long as it melts and you don't burn it, you're good to go.

Well, except that the title is a little long. Let's just call it Caramel Walnut Ice Cream and let everyone oooh and aaaaah when they try it. We'll keep that brown sugar and salt to ourselves, shall we?

Caramel Walnut Ice Cream

1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Combine the sugar and butter in  a heavy-bottomed pot. I like to use a saucier, but a saucepan is fine. Heat on medium until the sugar melts. It's better to heat this slowly rather than heat it quickly and have the butter scorch or the sugar burn.

Add the heavy cream. It will bubble and perhaps spatter. The sugar mixture might harden. No worries. Just keep cooking and stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Turn the heat off and add the milk and then stir in the vanilla.

Transfer the mixture to a storage container and refrigerate until completely chilled. I usually make this the day before I want to churn it.

When the mixture has chilled, churn it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the salt and walnuts at the very end of cooking, or add them as you're transferring the ice cream to a storage container. The point is to not let the salt melt and distribute through the mixture - you want it to encounter your taste buds in little "pops" of salt.

Freeze until firm.