PHOTO BY RON THOMAS.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream With Pistachios and Rosemary

As if addictive salted caramel ice cream weren’t enough, executive chef C.J. Cucciniello of Canyon Gate Country Club in Las Vegas pushes his recipe over the top with tangy cream cheese, roasted pistachios, and aromatic rosemary.

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In a large mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and salt. In a medium bowl, mix the heavy cream and corn syrup together. Set each bowl aside.

Heat the sugar in a 4-quart pot over medium heat until the sugar turns a deep amber color, avoiding burning. Remove the pot from the heat and add about a 1/4 cup of the cream/corn syrup mixture. Continue adding the cream/corn syrup mixture while stirring constantly. Add the remaining milk and stir to combine. Bring the pot to a boil for 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Don’t worry about small caramel clumps, as they will melt during the next steps.

Return the pot to the stove and bring the mixture to a boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove the pot from the heat. Gradually add this warm mixture to the cream cheese mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into a large zip-lock bag and refrigerate overnight or place it in an ice bath and chill for 30 minutes.

Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream maker, add the pistachios and rosemary (reserving about 2 teaspoons of each for garnish), and follow the machine instructions. After the ice cream has formed, transfer it to a plastic container with a lid. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.

Top each serving with fresh rosemary and chopped pistachios.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Chef’s Tip: “Keep your ice cream machine canister in the freezer so it’s ready when you are, and set your freezer at zero degrees Fahrenheit when storing ice cream.”

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