Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
This ice cream is full of dulce de leche and is as close to eating a spoonful of dulce de leche as you can get, but in rich, creamy ice cream form. There are no eggs or egg yolks (“Philadelphia-Style” ice cream) so the flavor of the dulce de leche can shine through unmuted. Creamy and rich, this ice cream scoops beautifully and won’t become rock hard or icy.
Makes about 1.5 quarts.
- 2 13.4 oz. cans (2 1/4 cups or 760 g) dulce de leche
- 2 cups (480 ml) half & half
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) corn syrup
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (3 to 6 g) sea salt
- ice cream maker
- 1.5 quart freezer-safe container (like a loaf pan)
1. Do ahead:
– Freeze the ice cream maker canister and the freezer-safe container for at least 24 hours.
2. Make the ice cream base:
– Combine the dulce de leche and half & half in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
– Stir gently over medium heat until the dulce de leche is completely melted.
– Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla and corn syrup.
– Add in the salt to taste.
- Start with 1/2 teaspoon salt (3 g) and then add to taste (up to 1 1/2 teaspoons for a salted dulce de leche.)
NOTE: The extra step of straining the ice cream base in this recipe is not necessary, but always ensures a smooth mixture.
3. Cool the ice cream base then chill thoroughly.
– Let the ice cream base cool to room temperature.
– Chill the mixture in the refrigerator at least overnight and up to 2 days.
4. Churn the ice cream.
– Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream maker and churn for 25 to 30 minutes. (Follow manufacturer’s instructions.)
- The ice cream will be very soft (like very soft “soft-serve”). It will firm up nicely in the freezer. So, don’t be tempted to over-churn the ice cream or it will become butter.
5. Freeze the ice cream until firm.
– Remove the ice cream to the pre-chilled freezer-safe container.
– Cover the top of the ice cream with plastic wrap making full contact with the surface.
– Freeze until firm to your liking, at least 4 to 6 hours.
About this recipe
This ice cream has deep, caramel-y dulce de leche flavor because it has a lot of dulce de leche. (By weight, there’s more dulce de leche in this ice cream than there is cream!) It’s as close to eating a spoonful of dulce de leche as you can get, but in rich, creamy ice cream form.
There are no eggs or egg yolks so that the full flavor of the dulce de leche shines through unmuted. (This is an “American-Style” or “Philadelphia-Style” ice cream.) But even so, this ice cream is still creamy and rich.
And the corn syrup? A little corn syrup helps prevent ice cream from forming ice crystals and becoming rock hard. When fully set, this ice cream will be beautifully creamy and scoop-able. And it will stay that way to the last scoop.
Here are 3 helpful tips:
1) About some of the ingredients:
Dulce de Leche
– Dulce de leche is basically milk and sugar cooked down until thick and caramelized. It has a beautiful, caramel-y flavor with a lovely, smooth texture.
- Fortunately, dulce de leche has become more available in major groceries.
– If you cannot find cans of dulce de leche, scroll down for a tip on how to make your own.
– A whole tablespoon of vanilla may seem like a lot. But that extra vanilla will really round out the flavor of your dulce de leche and add a bit of complexity.
– The little bit of corn syrup in the ice cream base is undetectable and will prevent your ice cream from becoming rock hard and icy. It will keep your ice cream creamy and scoop-able down to the very last scoop.
– The salt is necessary. A teaspoon of salt will actually bring out the wonderful dulce de leche flavor while keeping your ice cream from being cloyingly sweet. After all, this recipe uses a whopping 2 1/4 cups (over 1 2/3 lbs.) dulce de leche. We want the flavor, but not the excessive sweetness.
2) Everything needs to be cold, cold, cold!
The colder everything is when churning your ice cream, the smoother and fluffier your ice cream will be.
- Make sure you have frozen your ice cream maker canister, and chilled your ice cream base for at least 24 hours. This will ensure that your ice cream will churn to its fluffiest.
- Freeze the container(s) that you will be storing your ice cream in, too. This will help ensure that your fluffy churned ice cream will stay at its coldest and won’t melt from being placed in a room-temperature container.
3) How to make dulce de leche at home:
– I was not always able to find cans of dulce de leche in the grocery store. But cans of sweetened condensed milk were always available. There are different ways to make dulce de leche from cans of sweetened condensed milk. I used this method:
- Pour 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk into a pie plate or shallow pan (preferably glass). Cover tightly with foil and place in a roasting pan filled with enough water to reach halfway up the pie plate. Cook in the oven at 425°F (218°C), stirring every 45 minutes until deeply browned. Replenish the water as needed. (This can take up to 2 hours or longer for 2 cans.)
– If you can’t find cans of sweetened condensed milk, but are determined, you can always make your own sweetened condensed milk and go from there onto dulce de leche. I have never done this, but if you want to, here is a recipe from Epicurious.com. (Be sure to double their recipe for enough dulce de leche to make this ice cream.)
Dulce de leche’s beautiful flavor comes from the Maillaird reaction. Learn about the Maillard reaction: