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Oct 20, 2006 07:50 PM

Burnt Caramel Ice Cream

This is a flavor for the ages, especially for all you 'hounds out there who crave salty/sweet combos the way I do.

Go to to and search for "Grandpa Roy's caramel ice cream."

I followed the instructions closely, except I used 2 cups of half in half instead of 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream.

SO described it best when he said it tasted like frozen creme brulee: creamy, rich, and slightly burnt.

The best part for me is that even after a night in the freezer, the ice cream is soft enough to scoop with a plastic spoon! This makes it the perfect make-ahead dessert that doesn't require thaw time in the fridge, whereas other ice creams tend to become rock hard overnight and need to be set out during dinner if guests want to have dessert right away.

As a salted caramel fanatic, I actually had to try hard to refrain from licking the drippings off my countertop.

Photo here:

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  1. Here's a direct URL to the recipe:

    Sounds similar to Corby Kummer's. Here's an outline of his recipe (from the June 2000 Atlantic):

    1 cup heavy cream
    2 cups whole milk
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp salt (pref. Maldon


    Mix cream and milk.

    Caramelize sugar and salt over moderate heat until black spots appear.

    Pour in half the cream-milk mixture. Stir for five minutes over moderate heat. Turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.

    Strain through a fine sieve into the remaining milk-cream mix.

    1. OMG, looks divine. I may have to make this!

      1. That photo almost gave me a heart attack from glee! Looks absolutely rich and sinful. Can't wait to add this to my repertoire. Would you use the same amount of sugar next time?

        BTW, glad your blog is back up!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Carb Lover


          I think I would use the same amount of sugar next time, but I would let the caramel get even darker, and use a little more salt (a full teaspoon, or maybe a quarter teaspoon mixed in as the ice cream's ending its churn for "flavor crystals").

          The toughest part about this recipe is knowing exactly when the sugar's going to turn from burnt caramel to just plain burnt sugar. I'm actually considering going ahead and burning a cup of sugar just to find out exactly when that crossover happens.

          1. re: Pei

            'I'm actually considering going ahead and burning a cup of sugar just to find out exactly when that crossover happens.'


            Great idea! I could totally see Judy Rodgers advising this to get a better feel for the process. Only problem is you'll have to deal w/ the smell and clean up of burnt sugar, but shouldn't be too bad. At least sugar is plentiful and cheap...

        2. funny, I made this exact ice cream about a month ago. Talk about the perfect accompanyment to apple tarts/pies, etc. It is very, very good and very very rich.

          to your point about salted caramels, I doubled the salt when I made it and it turned out wonderful.

          - Adam

          2 Replies
          1. re: adamclyde

            Thanks for the tip. I will double the salt next time.

            As for the endless possibilities, I know. The most stressful part about making this ice cream was wondering what I should pair it with. Gingersnaps? Pecan pie? Chocolate cake? Yellow cake? Buttermilk cake?

            The final decision was that the ice cream is so delicious it should stand alone (at least this first time).

            Another thing I've noticed is that the flavor is so rich neiher SO nor I can eat a whole lot in one sitting. Which I think of as an added benefit.

            Two nights in the fridge and it's still scoopable!

            1. re: Pei

              I don't think it needs to be paired with anything.

          2. The caramel ice cream in Desserts by Nancy Silverton is also very good. It's a french-style ice cream, with a creme anglaise base, rather than Philadelphia-style. I've always made it with goat's milk.