After seeing authentic dulce de leche in the store, I felt compelled to make a caramel swirl ice cream using my new favorite vanilla ice cream base, from the French-Style Roasted Strawberry-Vanilla Ice Cream that I made earlier this season.
The vanilla ice cream recipe used in the base was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Fany Gerson. Dulce de leche is an ice cream flavor that everyone in my house enjoys. 🙂
For the Vanilla Ice Cream Base:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean pod
- 6 large egg yolks
- 5 T (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the Swirl:
- about 7 oz canned Dulce de Leche (I used Nestle La Lachera), or more, as needed
- Stir together cream and milk in a medium saucepan.
- Split vanilla bean pod lengthwise; scrape seeds. Add scraped seeds and vanilla pod halves to mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium-low, undisturbed, until mixture just comes to a simmer.
- Remove from heat. Cover and let steep 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Return steeped cream mixture to heat over medium-low; cook, undisturbed, until mixture just comes to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a medium-size heatproof bowl.
- Gradually whisk warm cream mixture into yolk mixture in bowl. (It’s important to slowly add the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly and never bringing to a boil, to ensure the eggs don’t scramble.)
- Transfer cream-yolk mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 6 to 10 minutes, making sure it doesn’t bubble. (I cooked mine for 7 minutes.)
- Remove from heat. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a medium-size heatproof bowl; discard solids.
- Place bowl in a large bowl filled with ice water. Let stand, stirring often, until mixture reaches room temperature, about 8 minutes. (I kept mine in the ice bath until the ice melted.) Remove.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap or transfer base to a sealable container; seal and refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours.
- Pour base into frozen freezer bowl of an ice cream maker; proceed according to manufacturer’s instructions. (I churned mine for 25 minutes.)
- Transfer a few scoops of the vanilla ice cream into a shallow container, such as a glass loaf pan, and spread into an even layer.
- Top with some of the dulce de leche; spread into an even layer. Repeat the layers, finishing with ice cream on top, until all of the ice cream base has been transferred.
- Cover, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. (I press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream and then top the container with an additional sheet of plastic wrap.)
- Store in an airtight container in freezer up to 3 weeks.