homemade caramel ice cream

Once I discovered Talenti's Salted Caramel ice cream (or is it gelato??) at the discount grocery store down the road, there was no turning back.  This was THE ice cream for me.  For special occasions, I even paid full (sale) price for it at my regular grocery store.  I liked that it had a short ingredient list, too, of [mostly] things that I kept in my own kitchen.

And then my Farmer bought some large, white, food-grade plastic totes to use in his aquaponics business.  They were mostly empty.  They had contained soy lecithin.

Well.  Watching my Farmer try and try and try and try to clean the soy lecithin out of those totes pretty quickly turned the phrase "soy lecithin" into a bad word around our house.  And then I started to notice it on ingredient lists in my food, and began putting two and two together.  That dark brown taffy-like sludge was in my FOOD.  Egads.  That means it is in my BODY.  Eek!!

I'll spare you further dramatics.  Suffice it to say that when I saw it on my beloved Talenti Salted Caramel ice cream label, I determined to make my own wholesome caramel ice cream.

We did a taste test the other night:  Talenti vs. Mommy.

I won.  :)

{I know, I know - I never said they weren't biased!!}

Homemade Caramel Ice Cream

First, make the caramel in a saucepan:
1 cup brown sugar
2 T table syrup
1/4 cup butter
[1/2 tsp. salt, if you want "salted caramel"]

Heat till sugar is dissolved and smooth.  Then add:
1/2 cup cream (real, if you can get it - that is, without carageenan!)

Let the caramel cool.  When it's reasonably cool, get out your blender and whip:
2 cups cream (again, the real stuff - heavy!)
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt 

Pulse on low, checking carefully to see when the cream begins to thicken.  You don't want butter, here!  When it thickens, pour in half (or so) of the caramel into the now-whipped cream.  Pour that into a metal bread pan.  Pour the remaining caramel on top of the whipped cream mixture, and barely stir it in.  Pop the bread pan into the freezer and stand back.

When it's frozen (or mostly so), I like to move it into a more dipping-friendly container, like a plastic bowl with a lid, but you can serve it directly from the metal pan if you like.  This will make a good quart of the best ice cream you have ever eaten - and all the ingredients are ones you can pronounce!!

[note:  I think this could be as successful with a bit less sugar .... let me know if you try it!]

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