Don't. Burn. The. Caramel.
And yet, it was still the best ice cream that I've made to date.
And yes, I know that salted caramel sounds weird, but just understand that the flaky, yummy sea salt brings out all the sweet decadence of the homemade caramel.
It won't be salty.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Makes about 2 quarts.
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10" heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
Add 1 1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170* on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil).
Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel. Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours.
Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.