Us ex-Queenslanders have been aching for a sign of spring for weeks now. Even the thought of it got me hankering for ice cream. After a few days of moaning I cleared space in the freezer for my churner and began shopping for a recipe. I figured this would be a good opportunity to pick a rich and creamy recipe before the mercury rises and all I want is something refreshing and fruit-based. David Lebovitz's salted butter caramel ice cream won the day; it's been blogged and raved about dozens of times and I'd read about it on Jumbo Empanadas, Butter Sugar Flour, Greedy Gourmand and It Pleases Us. Not only did it fit the above bill but it gave me an excuse to buy some fancy fleur de sel from Gerwurzhaus.
In the end, this recipe won the day by defeating me. It was DL's typical deal of myriad saucepans and strainers and ice baths and candy thermometers I don't have and grumble grumble curse [patient help from Michael] still cursing grumbling [all stuffed in the fridge and forgotten for a day]. I was not optimistic that I would love this quite so much as my fellow food bloggers. I suspected that I had burned my caramel (and really burnt caramel is really, really awful) and after churning and freezing as directed, it did not look as luscious as my other Lebovitz icecreams, with toffee pooling in the bottom of the dish.
My first scoop struck a convenient balance - nice enough to keep eating and not be too angry about all that kitchen cranky-making, yet sufficiently unexciting that I would never be inclined to repeat said cranky-making. Alas, as the week wore on and we ate a little more, I may have felt a wee thrill. Shit, this icecream was good. We were almost bereft when it was finished.
This means I am going to have to make this icecream again. Boo. There must be some procedural corners I can cut. I'll keep you posted if I ever figure out a low-stress (but still high-fat) version. For now, brave David Lebovitz's torturously good recipe for salted butter caramel icecream if you dare.