Ice cream made from a custard base will be smoother and creamier than an uncooked base. Here the little specs of vanilla bean add color and texture to a wonderful frozen dessert.
CARAMEL CORN CUSTARD ICE CREAM
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup good quality, fresh caramel corn
2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 bean cut open lengthwise
6 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1. Heat the cream in a microwavable bowl for 1 minute. Add the caramel corn and let it steep in the cream for at least one hour or longer. Press down on corn clusters occasionally to soften further. Set aside until needed.
2. Combine the milk and the sugar in a 1 quart saucepan. If using the whole bean add it now. Stir constantly over medium heat until milk begins to scald (little bubbles form on the perimeter of the milk) and sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla or scrape the inside of the vanilla bean into the mixture and then remove bean and stir to combine.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the salt until a light lemony color.
4. Whisking rapidly, slowly add some of the hot milk to the egg yolks until combined and the egg yolks are warmed. Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture.
5. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until the mixture forms a thick custard and coats the back of a spoon. This will take 5-7 minutes.
6. Stir in the 1 cup heavy cream with the soaked caramel corn and pour into a bowl. Cool completely.
7. When ready to make ice cream, strain the mixture through a sieve into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Place prepared ice cream into a freezer container and freeze until ready to serve.
Yield: about 1 quart.