I am almost embarrassed to have a specialty ice cream post. Not that it isn’t a brilliant idea—it probably is. Who wouldn’t want to make-then-eat DIY corn ice cream with salted caramel sauce? Putting up a post for a unique ice cream intimidates me: I will ever be in the shadow of my chef friend who puts on a kick-ass Ice Cream Sunday Party each summer. He spends weeks and weeks making palate-teasing ice creams like goat cheese, buttermilk and licorice. Basil and fresh-as-fresh-can-be strawberry ice cream. He infuses ice creams with liquor or herbs, then pairs them with homemade compotes, sauces and ganaches—and wields fancy food contraptions and juice humidifiers. It is the ice cream party of all ice cream parties.
Last year he presented 28 flavors. With toppings.
So I might not tell him about my one humble little attempt at this corny yet whimsical scoop, topped with salted yumminess. But humor me anyway… and think ‘caramel corn.’
I have corn on my mind, due to a recent trip to the corn fields of Iowa. The Iowa Corn Growers Association invited me; I enjoyed stepping off a plane to find a state in love with John Deere and farm tools, bacon, butter and beef. Families are thick, farming is their lives. I got to wear my hipster cowgirl boots, ride farm machinery and eat cinnamon rolls the size of my face.
This sweet corn ice cream with salted caramel sauce is my way of saying thanks—with my mouth full.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes 1 quart
1-2 cobs of corn (1 is plenty if it is large, just cut off the corn kernels and break cob in half to flavor milk/cream)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
5 large egg yolks (quality is key!)
5 heaping Tablespoons sugar
With a sharp knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob and place in a medium saucepan (I threw in the cobs, too). To the saucepan, add the cream and milk, then set to medium heat and just bring it to boil, about 15-20 min (whatever you do, don’t let it boil over. You will curse me as you try to clean it up). Once simmer is reached, remove pan from heat and allow to sit, 45 min. Strain, reserving the liquid.
Meanwhile in a small bowl combine egg yolks and sugar, whisking to thoroughly combine (the mix should turn a lighter shade of yellow). Spoon some of the warm corn/milk into the egg mix and whisk. Add a cup more of the warm milk and whisk. Add remainder of milk and stir to combine. Put back into saucepan on medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and chill.
Once chilled, churn in your ice cream maker (it took around 20-25 min). For the caramel sauce: click on the link above, scroll down and find recipe. Make the sauce as directed, then add fleur de sel or a lovely salt ‘to taste’.