I'm talking about that glorious dessert, Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Its texture is rich and smooth, and its flavor is complex and rather alluring. In other words, you want MORE!! Trust me, is is well worth your time...
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
Heat 1 cup sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber. (This step will take a very long time, so hold your horses...
Add 1 1/4 cups cream and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. (Note: the liquidized sugar will bind up in reaction to the coolness of the cream. Don't panic, it will dissolve with patient stirring.) Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
Thoroughly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon (do not let boil!!). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve, using a spoon to manipulate the custard past any lumps into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
Pour liquid into ice cream maker, and let the maker run its cycle. The ice cream will be soft serve, so freeze it in the canister or an airtight container to firm it up.