Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

I've made a slight change to the dessert menu for Super Bowl Sunday. Rather than serve sundaes, I've decided to make ice cream sandwiches using dulce de leche ice cream and chocolate wafer cookies. I think they'll make for easier clean-up and might actually be a better fit for our extremely casual menu. This is, hands down, one of the easiest and best ice creams I've ever made. It uses no sugar or eggs, and its sweetness comes from dulce de leche, a thick, caramel flavored sauce that is popular in Latin America. The canned sauce can be found in most large grocery stores, but it can also be made quite easily at home. Homemade versions of the sauce are the only available option for folks living in areas where dulce de leche is not available or is too expensive for them to purchase. The classic sauce is a mix of milk and sugar that is cooked and stirred for hours on end. The sauce that I use is much easier and can be made in one of two ways. Both begin with cans of sweetened condensed milk that are stripped of their paper labels. To make the stovetop version, you'll need to poke two small holes in the lid of a condensed milk can and place it, upright, in a heavy bottomed pot that's been filled with water that comes about a quarter of an inch below the top of the can. The milk is simmered in the can for 3 hours and during that time the water level is kept constant. The method I use is simpler still. I place the cans on their sides in a 5 quart crock-pot, cover them with hot water by at least an inch and cook them, covered, on HIGH power for eight hours. Whichever method you use, be careful when removing the cans from water. They are screeching hot and can cause severe burns. When the cans come to room temperature the sauce, which will be quite thick, is ready to use. It is dissolved in a mixture of milk and heavy cream and quick-chilled before being poured into an ice cream maker. I think you'll like this ice cream. It is delicious and nearly effortless to make. The recipe was originally developed by Mariana Crespo for Gourmet magazine. Here's how the ice cream is made.

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Mariana Crespo


2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1-2/3 cups dulce de leche (store bought or homemade)

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans (2 1/2 to 3 oz), toasted


1) Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat and whisk in dulce de leche until dissolved. Whisk in vanilla and transfer to a metal bowl. Quick-chill by putting bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until cold, 15 to 20 minutes.

2) Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm, then fold in pecans.

3) Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour. Yield: 1-1/2 quarts.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Dulce de Leche - David Lebovitz

Dulce de Leche - Cooking for Engineers

Mexican Chocolate Brownies - One Perfect Bite

Mexican Wedding Cookies - Stylish Cuisine

Mexican Hot Chocolate - Elana's Pantry

Dulce de Leche Liqueur Bundt Cake - The Daily Dish

Mexican Milk Chocolate Cake - Sugar Plum

Mexican Chocolate Cake - Bless Us O Lord

Simply Amazing Fried Ice Cream - $The Thrifty Couple in the Kitchen

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