It’s a fact. If there’s ice cream in the freezer, I’m going to eat it. I don’t ‘get’ people who can keep some on hand for surprise guests or whatever. Last summer I went through a phase making ice cream several times per week. It was fun experimenting with all sorts of flavors.
It was not okay when I stepped on the scale a few weeks later. Surely my daily serving of ice cream wasn’t to blame. Didn’t Michael Pollan say you can eat all the ice cream you want if you make it from scratch with locally sourced ingredients? That’s the message I took away from In Defense of Food.
I’ve eased back into ice cream making with a recipe that makes a perfect, irresistible, but satisfying ice cream. Something about the salty/sweet combo helps me put down the spoon and control myself. A recipe like this salty caramel ice cream would only come from Jeni Britton Bauer, owner of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
I have yet to visit one of her scoop shops in Ohio, but I’ve tried a few of her pints. They measure up to the hype— it really is the best ice cream ever. I ran out and bought her book as soon as it came out, and I was lucky enough to attend one of her ice cream classes at Central Market. She just glows with enthusiasm for her creative artisan ice creams.
I won’t rehash the recipe published in Bon Appetit, but the final product tasted just like the stuff I bought at the store. Jeni’s recipes are unique because they never include eggs. She uses cornstarch and cream cheese as emulsifiers, and she also boils the cream. Here are some tips:
1. Get all of your ingredients prepped before you start. Jeni uses a dry burn technique to make the caramel base, so you must watch the sugar and act quickly when it achieves the right color.
2. Back away when you add the cream as it will pop and sputter!
3. Strain the base through a sieve before refrigerating it. Don’t skip this step because you don’t want to compromise on the ice cream’s wonderfully smooth texture.
Salty caramel is Jeni’s signature flavor. Her eggless ice cream results in a bright flavor carried beautifully by the butterfat and not muddled by the egg yolks. It’s a perfectly balanced combination of salty and sweet.