Monday, May 3, 2010

Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream, Welcome Summer

Caramel Corn Ice Cream

OK, it really isn't summer, but it feels like it here. And so it is time to break out the ice cream machine. Actually, our ice cream machine stays out all of the time. We have a Cuisinart machine with an internal cooling mechanism. This way, I can feed my ice cream and frozen yogurt craving spontaneously. You will see lots of ice cream postings I am sure!

 I love caramel popcorn, and the when the idea of caramel popcorn ice cream popped up in my head I had to try it. Yes, it is actually made with popcorn, which gives it toasty undertones and provides thickening via the starch in the popcorn. So, in this ice cream, you get creamy without needing much cream or eggs. This allows the caramel flavors to shine. This ice cream is fantastic with carmelized peanuts, peanut sauce or other nuts or strong flavored fruits like cherries. Caramel popcorn of course is a natural accompaniment.

Caramel Corn Ice Cream with Brownies, Candied Pepitas, 
Cocoa Nibs, Chocolate Foam and Morello Cherries

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 T corn syrup (optional) 
  • 1 cup cream, warmed

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 t kosher salt (or 1/2 t table salt)
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • Up to 1 cup additional milk or cream

  1. Air pop popcorn, don't add butter or salt yet.
  2. Scald milk and poor over popcorn. Mix to combine and let sit for at least 1 hour.
  3. Blend popcorn, milk mixture in blender. It doesn't need to be perfectly smooth. alternatively you can just mash it up a bit.
  4. Using a strainer remove as much of the milk as you can and reserve. It will be thick starchy mixture. Then transfer the kernels remaining to cheesecloth and squeeze as much remaining milk as you can out. Set aside milk mixture, and through away kernels.
  5. In a large heavy skillet place sugar and corn syrup. When the bottom sugar starts to melt and brown, gently stir until all sugar is melted and deep amber. Remove from heat and add cream, stir until it stops boiling violently, and return to low heat. Stir until the caramel and cream are homogenized. Remove from heat and add butter, salt and vanilla.
  6. Pour caramel mixture into milk mixture.
  7. Add enough additional milk or cream to equal four cups of ice cream base.
  8. Taste and add salt if desired.
  9. Chill for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
  10. Churn in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer directions.

 Caramel Corn Ice Cream with Peanut Sauce: Frozen Cracker Jacks!


  1. Yuuuum I know i would love this!

  2. What a cool recipe! Love that it actually uses popcorn in it, sounds like it would be worth the effort of all that straining :)

  3. Laura -

    It is a bit labor intensive yes, but it helps if you have a large strainer. It might be easier if you don't blend it, but I always want to have as much of the infused flavor as possible.

  4. Great presentation. This sounds wonderful :)

  5. Interesting recipe. It looks great.

  6. Oh, my. I think I need that immediately!

  7. Wow -- combining popcorn and ice cream should really be illegal. Can you guys post a link to the ice cream maker you use? Also, have you checked out this blog:

  8. Above there is a link to the ice cream maker. Major space hog and super noisy, but it paid for itself in about 10 frozen yogurt runs by not going out for fro yo.

    Is there a blog I haven't been to? Ha Ha...