Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

Fall somehow made its entrance last week, and then just yesterday it was October. I am suddenly feeling the push to tell you about pumpkin, apples, baked squash dishes and, well, Halloween treats, but I’m still in ice cream mode. Salted caramel ice cream, to be exact, which isn’t such a bad thing when it comes to fall because, well, salted caramel ice cream pairs perfectly with all those warm fall desserts like apple crisp and pumpkin pie. It cuts the sweetness just enough and lingers on the tongue, full of flavor.

I consulted David Lebovitz to guide me along my salted caramel path for obvious reasons, the least of which being the guy has written an entire book dedicated to ice cream. Besides, I’d be foolish to believe anyone else could do better, and when he says it’s better than Berthillon, I am inclined to believe that it’s an ice cream worth taking the time to make.

Get all your ingredients ready before you start cooking anything. This process moves quickly, and having it ready to go is important. After placing 1 cup of milk in a medium bowl that is nested inside another bowl holding ice, you can start browning the sugar. Place it in an even layer in a saucepan over medium heat and wait until it melts around the edges before stirring.

Stir in towards the center, scrapping the bottom as you go. Wait again, stirring occasionally, until the sugar just starts to smoke and remove it from the burner. Add in the butter and salt and stir to melt.

Pour in the cream slowly. The caramel will bubble up as the cream hits it. When the cream is all incorporated, stir in the second cup of milk and return to the burner over low heat.

Temper the eggs by adding a bit of the hot caramel to them while whisking.

When the eggs are slightly warm with caramel add them back into the pot and cook until the caramel cream thickens.

Strain the caramel into the milk.

Stir it up and then sit it in the fridge until it’s nice and cold. And when you can’t stand it any longer, place it in your ice cream machine to churn.

After churning I added chopped chocolate-covered pretzels to half of my double batch for a dessert on its own. The second half I left naked. I envision it ending up on an apfelradln or two in the very near future.

Of note: I used Helene’s method of storing the ice cream in a loaf pan in plastic wrap. It’s been a bit messy as we get into the corners of that pan, but it keeps everything nice and covered up, safe from freezer burn. Genius, really. Plus, it’s in a pretty copper pan.

Additionally, what I really loved about this ice cream was its ability to stay soft in the freezer. Lots of homemade ice creams will get really hard in your freezer. This one remained scoopable even after days in the deep freeze. It makes me love it that much more.

adapted from David Lebovitz
2 cups whole milk, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Fill a large bowl 1/3 of the way with ice and then place a smaller bowl inside it. Pour 1 cup of the milk into the bowl. Set aside. In a large stainless steel saucepan spread the sugar in an even layer. Over a medium heat, wait until the sugar begins to melt around the edges. Using a silicon spatula or other heat-safe utensil, slowly scrape the saucepan towards the center until all the sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar just starts to smoke. Remove from heat and immediately add in the salt and butter and whisk until all the butter is melted. Slowly stir in the cream, whisking as you pour.

Return the saucepan to the burner, turning it down to a low heat. Stir in 1 cup of milk. In a small bowl beat the five egg yolks. Temper the yolks by placing a ladle-full of caramel liquid into the beaten yolks, whisking as you pour. Then pour the yolks into the caramel and continue cooking until the caramel mixture is thick and the temperature reaches 160Β° F. Remove from heat.

Using a wire mesh strainer, strain the caramel liquid into the milk in the ice bath. Whisk together and stir until mixture is warm and not hot. Place the mixture in the fridge until it is cold, at least 5 hours, and then churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. After churning, stir in any desired extras, like 1 cup chopped chocolate-covered pretzels, and then freeze.

Makes 6 cups ice cream.

Food for My Family

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  1. I love sweet and salty. I am in love with this recipe. Thanks for posting.

  2. Why oh why do we not live closer—-this ice cream looks amazing. I don’t care what season it is, always time for ice cream! xo

  3. Oh my goodness! All of my favorite flavors, just perfect.

  4. I am obsessed with salted caramel. And I am dieting. GRRRR! I’m still making this and eating in moderation then πŸ™‚

  5. Isn’t it just amazing? I’ve made it three times now, and it’s my absolute fave.

  6. This also one of my favourites. And not just for the taste. i do love that it stays soft. Hmm, I see some apple pie coming soon and this would beat vanilla as a side!

  7. There are no words…..
    But my daughter is in love and wishes we lived closer to you! We will make this for sure!!! xoxoxox See you in 4 sleeps!

  8. Oh my Shaina! You have done it again! Girl…you are too much πŸ™‚
    I’ve wanted to make homemade ice cream for ages, but don’t have a machine, I’m off to check out how to make it without a machine.

  9. I have questions!
    1. what is the print me plug in you are using to enable the printing of your recipes? I would love to get it.
    2. how did you adapt David’s recipe, or did you do it like he did… it looked like you did it the same way…
    I am asking because I made this recently with my daughter when she made ice cream cookies for a party – she did two kinds. This was a beautiful recipe, but needed more cream, too me. It was just too dense. Did you find that? I just had Berthillion’s in Paris this summer – and wish I would have tried the non-salted one, but the salted one was not nearly as dense and I found it lovely. I don’t really care if I make one like theirs… I just wanted to know if you had the same experience. The idea of the chocolate covered pretzel broken up and added is brilliant.

    • Valerie, I added an extra 1/2 cup of cream to the caramel, and I also made it again adding an extra 1/2 cup milk in addition to the extra cream. Both turned out wonderful. If you’re looking for lighter, go ahead and add both a 1/2 cup of cream and then 1/2 cup milk to the ice water bath. This should help get you what you’re looking for.

      My recipes are coded in my CSS to print. It’s not a plug-in or a part of my theme, but something we made work in the back end. I believe there’s a plug-in that Scott Hair developed on Food Blog Forum. I haven’t tried it personally, but Jaden’s recipes print similarly on Steamy Kitchen, so it’s probably a good place to start looking.

  10. You may still want to enable comments on your recipes as people do make them and might want to let you know.

  11. I almost got in my car just now. To come there in hopes that this beautiful salty and sugary goodness would still be behind your door. WOW.

    I might even hitchhike for that.

  12. am all over this one Shaina – wowie!

  13. We went all summer this year with out making ice cream………this is worthy of pulling it out……no matter what time of the year it is!!


  14. My all time fav! Now I can indulge without leaving my home!

  15. This recipe reminds me of salted caramel coffee, which is absolutely sinful…. so your ice cream must be incredible!

  16. Yum! I love salted caramel and David Lebovitz. I’m going to have to get out my copy of The Perfect Scoop and make a batch of this perfect-for-fall treat.

  17. I clicked through from Smith Bites and stayed for the salted caramel ice-cream – it woud be rude not to ;P Beautiful pictures!

  18. This is a topic that’snear to my heart… Best wishes! Where aare your contact details though?


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