Dark Amber Caramel Ice Cream

Another member of our family is now gluten free so I need to diversify my desserts.  Cambridge, Massachusetts ice cream purveyor Toscaninni’s makes a Burnt Caramel Ice Cream I used to get when I worked at MIT in the 1990s.  Now the local Whole Foods carries it and it is just as good as I remember, and when I found a caramel ice cream recipe I thought I would try and replicate the burnt version at home by cooking it longer and adding some sea salt.  It worked!  I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker.


  • 1 1/4 cups organic sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon coast sea salt (flaked is even better)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs


In a dry 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, heat 1 cup of the sugar, stirring to assuring even heating.  Once it starts to melt swirl the pan over teh ehat until all of the sugar is melted and it turns a deep amber color.  Carefully add 1 1/4 cups of the cream (careful – it can splatter) and stir until all of the caramel has dissolved.  Transfer to a bowl and add the salt and vanilla.  Cool to room temperature.

Once the caramel is cool, in a small saucepan bring the milk, the remaining cream (1 cup), adn the remaining sugar (1/4 cup) jsut to a boil.  Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a medium bowl then add half of the hot milk and sugar mixture in a thin stream, whisking continuously.  Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat and stir with a wooden sppon until the custart coats the back of the sppon adn registers 170 ndegrees on an instant read or candy thermometer.  Do not let it boil.  Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in the cooled dark caramel.

Chill the custard in the refrigerator, strring now and then, until completely cool – 4 to 6 hours.  Our it into the prepared ice cream maker and mix it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, about 25-30 minutes.  It will still be quite soft when it is finished, and is delicious as a cold custard, or you can transfer it to an airtight container(s) and firm it up further in the freezer.

Serve it on its own or with bittersweet chocolate sauce and/or whipped cream.

Makes 1 quart plus 1 cup.