After I learned how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker, I started searching for the next flavor I wanted to try. When I came across Dorie's Burnt Sugar Ice cream, I knew I had to try it. I love caramel.
The recipe is quite simple, and not too different from most ice cream recipes. The hardest part is tempering the eggs. This involves adding the hot milk/cream gradually to slowly bring the temperature of the eggs up. Dorie says it's okay to add one-third of the hot liquid initially, but I am always so worried about scrambling my eggs that I only start by adding one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is warm.
The Burnt Sugar Ice Cream was amazing!!! It had a wonderful caramel flavor that was not overly sweet. If you swirled in a bottle of store bought Dulce de Leche at the end, you would have a perfect copy cat recipe for the Haagen Daaz Dulce de Leche flavor. The next time I make this, I'll probably mix in some toffee bits, to make some Toffee Caramel Ice Cream. And of course this paired perfectly with the Applesauce Spice Bars I made.
This recipe calls for four egg yolks. I always hate wasting eggs when a recipe calls for only egg yolks or egg whites. I can never think of what to do with them before they go bad, so I've started freezing them until I come across a recipe I want to make.
I will usually freeze two egg whites in a ziploc bag and then label the bag with the number of egg whites in there and the date (they will keep for about 12 months). Alternatively, you can freeze them individually in an ice tray and then toss the cubes into a ziploc bag.
If you want to freeze egg yolks, you'll need to whisk in some sugar or salt. Without it, they will become too rubbery or gelatinous when frozen to use once they are thawed. I always use my yolks for sweets, so I typically whisk two egg yolks with 1 teaspoon of sugar and then label the bag with the number of yolks, amount of sugar I added, and the date (they will keep for about 3 months).
Always thaw your frozen eggs in the refrigerator, or under cold running water, and use them immediately. Make sure you only use them in dishes that will be thoroughly cooked (at least 160F/71C). If you would like more information on freezing and food safety, click here (also check out the link in my blog sidebar - in the "Useful Links" section).
Burnt Sugar Ice Cream
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Stir the sugar and water together in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil, without stirring, until the syrup turns a deep amber color (watch it carefully - too dark and it will be too bitter!)--from time to time, brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush and swirl the pan. (Depending on the size of your pan and the intensity of the heat, it could take about 8 minutes for the caramel to color properly.)
Stand back--things can get a little wild--lower the heat and add the milk and cream. Don't be concerned when everything bubbles and seethes and the caramel hardens; it will calm down and smooth out as you heat and stir. Continue to heat and stir and when the mixture is smooth, remove the pan from the heat.
In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks and salt together until very well blended and just slightly thickened. Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid--this will temper, or warm, the eggs so they don't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid. pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard slightly thickens and coats the back of a spoon; if you run your finger down the bowl of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. the custard should reach at least 170F, but no more than 180F, on an instant read thermometer (I recommend this digital thermometer). Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the custard into a 2 quart glass measuring cup or clean heatproof bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Refrigerate the custard until chilled before churning it into ice cream.
Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. (If you don't have an ice cream maker, learn how to make your own ice cream by hand here.) Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.
Yield: About 1-1/2 pints
Serving: If the ice cream is very firm, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes or warm it in the microwave using 5 second spurts of heat.
Storage: packed tightly in a covered container, this will keep in the freezer about 2 weeks