Caramel-Salty Butter Ice Cream

In the few years that I’ve been living in Paris, I’ve tasted salty caramel ice cream at every glacier that I came across, and while Grom, the Italian gelateria in the 6th, is my current favorite for salty caramel (Pozetto, on the other hand, has the best yogurt ice cream, in my opinion), I wanted to make my own.

Last summer, I’d planned to get an ice cream maker, but didn’t. I’d left mine back in Dallas, and thought that I could just bring it back with me. Silly me. Ice cream makers – even the small ones – are bulky and heavy and not ideal to pack in overstuffed, over-the-weight-limit suitcases.

So another summer passed without homemade ice cream. It was a sad year indeed.

A couple of weeks ago, I was thumbing through the recent issue of Elle a Table, and found an ad for a beautiful, gleaming Cuisinart ice cream maker, and alongside it, a recipe for my favorite kind of ice cream.

It felt like destiny. Someday, I vowed, this lovely little ice cream maker would be mine.

I tore out the ad and put it on the refrigerator, believing that the ice cream gods would surely hear my silent prayer.

Two days ago, they did – Xavier came home with the ice cream maker of my dreams.

Before I could get the insides washed, even, I grabbed my wallet and was off to the neighborhood Franprix to buy salty butter, milk, cream, and eggs.

This is my version of the recipe that I found in the magazine, tweaked a bit, with less sugar and my tried-and-true method of making caramel, which is basically a watch-and-see-and-whatever-you-do-DO-NOT-STIR approach. Trust me on this. Stirring is not a good idea when making caramel. Ever. Just sip your coffee and watch the magic happen, and give the pan a good SWIRL once the color goes amber.

Caramel -Salty Butter Ice Cream

1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
⅓ cup salty butter
¼ cup cream
3 cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups cream
8 egg yolks

1. Make caramel. Put sugar and water in heavy saucepan and turn on medium-high.

2. When sugar melts and mixture comes to a boil, turn up heat, and do NOT stir. It’ll take 5 to 10 minutes to turn amber, and when it begins to go dark — but not TOO dark — pour in the butter and the cream. Don’t worry – the bubbling is normal.

3. Now, stir until the cream and butter is incorporated. Remove from heat.

4. In a bowl, whip egg yolks until frothy. Set aside.

5. Put milk and cream in a heavy saucepan on medium heat. Let come to a boil, and add to caramel mixture. Turn heat on to low and stir with whisk until combined.

6. Add a little of the warm caramel-milk mixture to the eggs to temper. Then, add egg mixture to caramel-milk and stir. Let cook for a few minutes until it thickens.

7. Pour into another bowl, placed in an ice bath.

8. Pour mixture through strainer and refrigerate for up to 12 hours or until completely cold.

9. Make ice cream per instructions for your ice cream maker.