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Quite possibly one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. Imagine if you will, plunging your spoon through a crispy layer of caramelized sugar to expose a silky layer of frozen creme brulee ice cream beneath. Oh yea baby, this recipe is worth every single calorie-laden bite. Break out the kitchen torch! Your family and friends are going to flip over this one.
Note: You’ll need a 1 1/2-quart or larger ice cream maker to churn this recipe (if your ice cream maker is smaller, you can churn half the mixture and refrigerate the rest to churn a day or two later). You’ll also need a kitchen thermometer and a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar.
For the ice cream base:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt; set aside.
In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed non-stick pan over medium heat, combine the milk and one whole vanilla bean that has been split open and the seeds scraped out (both the bean pod and the seeds go into the pan with the milk; if you’re using vanilla extract instead, don’t add it at this point). Over medium heat, cook the milk until it starts to bubble around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat and whisk about 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture; repeat with another 1/4 cup hot milk. Pour the now warm egg yolk mixture into the pan containing the remaining hot milk; stir to combine. Return pan to the stove top (med heat) and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a temperature of 170-180 F.
Remove pan from heat and strain mixture through a sieve into a large bowl to remove the vanilla bean pod and any bits of egg that might have coagulated. Stir in cold heavy cream (and vanilla extract, if using). Chill the ice cream base in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 4 hours before churning (or up to 48 hours – the colder, the better).
For churning the ice cream:
Process the ice cream base according to the manufacturer’s instructions that were included with your ice cream maker.
Divvy ice cream into heat-safe ramekins, leaving about 1/4-inch of space at the top. Put the ramekins into the freezer for several hours until the ice cream is hard (this can be done several days in advance—just cover ramekins with plastic wrap).
Just before serving, use a kitchen torch to heat the surface of the ice cream just slightly so the turbinado sugar will stick to it. Add a layer of turbinado sugar over the top of each ramekin; then caramelize the sugar using a kitchen torch. I like an extra thick layer or caramelized sugar so I repeat this step by sprinkling a second layer of turbinado; then caramelize with the torch again. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Cafe Johnsonia.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!