Thursday, October 6, 2011

Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream

Making caramel can seem a little intimidating at first because it usually involves dry cooking the sugar until it reaches the desired amber hue. It might seem like an eternity for anything to happen, but once it starts to brown, you have to watch it like a hawk. It can go from being a white island of sugar to burnt in the blink of an eye if you're not careful. To serve my apple pie a la mode, I used David Lebovitz's recipes for caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Creamy Caramel Sauce
The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup (200 g) sugar

1 1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 heaping tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Warm up the heavy cream in a small saucepan.

In a separate, deep saucepan, spread the sugar in an even layer. Carefully watch the sugar as it cooks over low to medium heat. As the sugar begins to liquefy and darken at the edges, gently stir it with a heatproof spatula. Tilt the pan and stir gently to melt all the sugar until it becomes a deep amber color. Quickly remove from heat, and whisk in half of the warm cream (will steam & intensely bubble up). Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Gradually whisk in the remainder of the warm cream, salt, and vanilla. Return to low heat and whisk until smooth. Serve warm. May be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Rewarm in the microwave before serving.

Vanilla Ice Cream, Philadephia-Style
The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes about 1 quart
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Pour 1 cup of heavy cream, sugar, and salt into a medium sauce pan. Scrape the seeds from vanilla bean into the mixture and add the pod to the pan. Warm over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from heat and add remaining heavy cream, milk and vanilla extract. Chill mixture in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

When ready to use, remove the vanilla bean and freeze the mixture per ice cream maker instructions.

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