For Lobster's birthday I served this ice cream along with a Chocolate Almond Meringue Cake. Little did I know this combo would be a match made in heaven and one of the tastiest desserts of ALL TIME! The ice cream by itself is yummmmay, but with the addition of the sweet and salty caramel sauce and popcorn, time stands still for a moment and you're in utter bliss. Okay, maybe I'm being the tiniest bit dramatic - but seriously this ice cream is LEGIT and one you should run or roll and make. Get your happy dance on!
Popcorn Ice Cream
Adapted from Almost Bourdain
1 1/4 cup 2% milk
1 1/4 cup half-an-half
Pinch of salt
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup prepared buttered popcorn (kettle corn or Cracker Jack's would be a great substitution)
Salted butter caramel sauce (*recipe follows)
- Heat the milk, half-an-half, popcorn, salt and half of the sugar in a saucepan until it's just below the boiling point and starts to bubble. Remove and sit for 30 minutes until the popcorn has thoroughly infused its flavor into in the cream mixture.
- Strain through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.
- Whisk together the other half of the sugar, vanilla and egg in a bowl to a ribbon stage.
- Still whisking, pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture and pour this back into the cleaned-out pan and cook till a velvety custard.
- When it's thickened, pour into a bowl and let it cool
- Churn in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Serve with salted butter caramel sauce and popcorn.
Salted Butter Caramel Sauce Recipe
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup + 1 tbs half-and-half
1/2 tbsp salted butter
pinch fleur de sel or coarse sea salt (or to taste)
- Spread the sugar in an even layer in a large metal pan. Set over moderate heat and cook without stirring, until the sugar near the edge just starts to liquefy.
- Using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, begin gently stirring, encouraging the melted sugar around the edges toward the center and delicately stirring up any sugar melting on the bottom as well. The sugar will start to look pebbly as it cooks, but keep going; it will melt completely as it turns amber.
- Continue to cook until the sugar turns deep brown and starts to smoke. (Don't worry about any large chunks of caramel.) The darker you can cook the sugar without burning it, the better the final sauce will taste. It's ready when it's the colour of a well-worn centime, or penny, and will smell a bit smoky.
- Remove from heat and quickly stir in about a quarter of the cream. The mixture will bubble up furiously, so you may wish to wear an oven mitt over your stirring hand. Continued to whisk in the cream, stirring as you go to make sure it's smooth. Stir in the butter and salt. Serve warm. If you like your sauce a bit thinner or less rich, add 1 tbs water.
Storage: The sauce can be made up to one month in advance and kept refrigerated. Rewarm the caramel in a small saucepan over low heat or in a microwave.