Sea Salt Ice Cream

If you like salty-sweet desserts, this ice cream will soon be your favorite.

Sea Salt Ice Cream
Photo: Photograher: Greg DuPree Prop Stylist: Mary Clayton Carl Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 50 mins
Serves 8 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

If you are a fan of all things sweet-and-salty, then you are going to love this Sea Salt Ice Cream recipe. With a taste similar to salted vanilla, this will give your old stand-by flavors a run for their money.

Traditional ice cream flavors, such as peach, chocolate, or strawberry, definitely have a place on a backyard cookout menu, but make a batch of this homemade ice cream the next time you want something new, and you'll never look at those typical flavors again.

The cup of brown sugar adds some delicious caramel undertones. Don't skimp on the ingredients—you need to use whole milk instead of skim or two percent, and heavy whipping cream instead of half-and-half. Stirring constantly is key to creating a smooth and creamy custard. When you add the egg yolk mixture to the hot milk mixture on the stovetop, stir constantly, over a medium heat, until the liquid coats the back of the spoon. Serve alone or topped with shaved chocolate or crushed pretzels.


  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, plus more for serving

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Whisk together egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar in a medium bowl; set aside. Stir together milk, whipping cream, and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar in a medium saucepan until smooth. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot but not boiling, about 4 minutes. Gradually pour 1 cup hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk egg yolk mixture into remaining hot milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until mixture coats back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salt and vanilla. Pour mixture into a large bowl; place bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice water, and let mixture cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Transfer mixture in bowl to refrigerator; chill until cold, about 2 hours.

  2. Pour chilled mixture into frozen freezer bowl of a 4-quart electric ice-cream maker, and proceed according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container; freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Sprinkle with additional salt, and serve.

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