Monday, June 14, 2010

Savoring Salted Caramel Gellato

YOU can do this,even with a little Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker!
I have a wonderful gelato machine from Italy and I use it to make ices and sorbets most of the time. It takes up some valuable real estate in my kitchen and I respect that by utilizing it more regularly than I would if it were in my cookware storage pantry. However, I have never liked ice cream, no not even as a kid. The people I cook for love ice cream and I love ices and sorbets, so it all works out for mutual benefit when I put my machine to work here. 
A few days ago I was talking on Facebook with a friend of mine, Candace Grover who works as floor manager at Goods for Cooks in Bloomington Indiana. The recipe Candace told me about hit a weak spot in me. I LOVE caramel, really dark rich caramel and if it has a little sea salt sprinkled on top, all the better. She had been making lots of ice creams and she felt that she had hit the jackpot with a recipe from Gourmet magazine in August 2009, Salted Carmel Ice Cream. I took that concept and ran with it because as I stated above, there is one sweet that I am totally HOT for and that is really great caramel. 
Here is the recipe as I changed it, you can of course go to Epicurious and find the original recipe by Andrea Albin. One note, I have a Gelato Machine and that mixes the ice cream/gelato a bit slower hence there is about 20% less air whipped into the final result with my machine than you would get with a traditional ice cream machine. I like that better, but the results vary from machine to machine. Many people today are dealing with the machines that you freeze a container and then pour the mix into the container. The problem here is that you must chill your mixture as much as you can and then hope that you get the appropriate freeze before the gel in the container melts (about 20 minutes.) My gelato machine chills and churns and I usually have it going for about 30 minutes before I switch to freeze only mode.
My Homemade Vanilla

Salted Caramel Ice Cream inspired by : Gourmet | August 2009

Andrea calls this as sultry and I completely agree. The recipe is based on the much loved candy that has taken American Gourmets by storm... salt caramels. The candy originated in Brittany, where of course the wonderful flaked salts come from and they are known for their dairy cows... cheeses, milk and cream. Oh heck... I think I want to go there right now... they are also famous for their oysters, but that is another story.  
Yield: Makes about 1 quart
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 4 hr

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
3 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon (I used my Maple Smoked Hawaiian Sea Salt)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean scraped clean with a knife
3 large eggs (I use those of the "Six Sassy Sisters Hen House" that my friend Janet Montrose owns.)

Equipment: an ice cream maker

Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber. This is a real key to depth of flavor. 
Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) a litle bit at a time and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, bring remaining cream, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally. 
Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). . Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, and spoon it through the sieve, then stir in cooled caramel.
Add the scraped vanilla bean into the custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up. *note, my machine slowly cools the mixture so I skipped the chilling in the fridge, but if you have one of the machines that do not chill, you must do it in the refrigerator. 


mitzimi @ said...

Sounds delicious (looks that way too.) It reminds me a bit of how we make butter pecan ice cream. I think I'll try playing with the concept and see what the kids have to say about it!


Clarice Warren said...

mouth is watering! not going to try it yet; will ask you to make it for me in Charleston:)) am a caramel addict too!

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