About 5 years ago, I stumbled upon a Sea Salt Caramel gelato. I fell in love. My daughter’s birthday that year sent me on a search for a salted caramel ice cream recipe I could make for her celebration.
I found one, tried it and it was very similar to my favorite gelato. A few tweaks later, along with the addition of pecans, made it next to perfection.
Our favorite home Churned Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream was born.
This recipe is one to add to your Bucket List of Ice Cream recipes to try…..
You do have a homemade ice cream bucket list, don’t you? 🙂
To begin with, if I’m churning ice-cream, I want to make a whole gallon. I mean, this is work, so I want to make sure I have plenty from the get-go. I have a 4 quart churn, which BTW I picked up at our local Goodwill Store for a fraction of the retail price…and it was new in the box, never even opened!
4 quarts equals one gallon, incase you’ve forgotten.
The first thing you want to do is measure out all ingredients so everything is ready to go, when needed.
Pour 2 cups of milk in a large stainless steel bowl ( I use my Kitchen-Aid large mixing bowl.) Place the bowl of milk in another bowl of icewater. Allow the milk to chill while you make the caramel custard.
Begin by browning the sugar in a HEAVY pan. You must stay with it and watch it, stirring constantly because sugar will burn and you don’t want burnt icecream….who knew that was even possible?
As the sugar heats over med-low heat, it will begin to melt and it may seem to be lumping up but it will melt down and begin to brown and you will have a nice caramel color.
Also…make sure there are no children in the kitchen. This stuff is Hot!
Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is browned. When you begin to see smoke, ever so slightly, IMMEDIATELY REMOVE pan from heat and add sea salt (don’t use regular table salt) (mine was coarse sea salt and it was fine) and butter, stirring until melted. Gradually whisk in cream, stirring constantly. Stir in the other 2 cups of milk. (Not the milk on ice)
Whisk egg yolks.
Very gradually/slowly stir in a small amount, (about a cup) of the caramel mixture into the egg yolks, stirring to incorporate mixture and temper the eggs.
Add the tempered egg mixture back into the pan with the caramel and cook slowly until the custard reaches 160-170*F (71-77* C)
Pour cooked custard through a sieve and into the bowl of cold milk.
( To be safe, I placed the bowl of cold milk in the sink (lower position) and poured the HOT custard into the bowl, rather than lifting the hot custard above the counter top to pour………………
( actually, I placed it in the sink and had my husband do the pouring )
Next, stir in vanilla, Eagle Brand Milk and chopped pecans. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.
When ready to churn, pour custard into 4 qt. churn canister and add additional cream (or half n half) to the fill line. Churn according to instruction.
Once the ice cream has finished churning, allow ice-cream to ‘ripen.’ To do this: remove dasher from churn and replace lid. Add additional rock salt and ice around canister in churn and cover with dishtowels. Allow to sit (ripen) for at 20-30 minutes. This allows the ice-cream to harden properly.
This recipe is so perfect that leftovers can be frozen and the ice cream remains soft enough to easily dip. I save my store bought gelato containers…they came in handy to freeze my very own leftover~ Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream!
It’s what’s for dessert!
- **4 Quart Ice Cream Churn**
- 4 cups whole milk, divided
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 stick salted butter (8 tablespoons)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons SEA salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 10 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 1/2 cups toasted salted pecans, coarsely chopped
- Place 2 cups of milk in a stainless steel bowl (I used my large Kitchen Aid Mixing bowl)
- Place bowl of milk into a larger bowl or pan of ice.
- Cover ice with water.
- Set aside while making Caramel Custard.
- Place 3 cups of white granulated sugar in a heavy pan.
- Over medium low heat, using a heat resistant spoon, stir sugar as it heats and melts. Watch it and stir constantly as sugar burns easily!
- Once it BARELY begins to smoke and has turned a nice medium brown REMOVE from heat IMMEDIATELY
- Add Butter and salt, stir to melt
- Gradually whisk in cream and then add 2 cups of milk (Not the milk that's over ice)
- Whisk eggs yolks in a small bowl
- Slowly whisk about 1/2 cup of the caramel mixture to temper the yolks
- Add tempered yolks back into the caramel mixture
- Continue to cook over med heat until the custard reaches 160*-170* F or 71-77* C
- Strain the custard into the chilled milk.
- *** for safety, I place the chilled milk in it's bowl in the sink and pour HOT custard into bowl from there, rather than lifting it above the counter and into the bowl***
- Add Sweetened Condensed Milk to mixture
- Finally, Stir in Pecans and vanilla
- Allow to chill in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours.
- Pour mixture into churn and add cream or half N half to the fill line.
- Churn according to directions.
- Allow ice-cream to ripen for 20-30 minutes for best results
- Freezes beautifully, if you want to make ahead.
- Garnish with additional chopped, toasted pecans.