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Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

We like themes.

Theme birthday parties, like 'Backwards Upside-Down Party' and 'Jazzersize Party.'

Yes, these were actual birthday parties we had as kids.

Ooooo, and we like theme restaurants (hello, Ed Debevic's, can we please have some Green Rivers?) and even theme outfits (Sloane Ranger Country chic, Barbie Goes to the Opera, etc.).

But, we really like theme dinners. Like Moroccan Feast, American Grill and Asian Fusion (just to name a few).

So, when our latest dinner party was Central American in spirit, we had to quickly think up an appropriately awesome dessert to wow our guests while minimizing time spent in the kitchen. 

When our Mummy threw out "something with dulce de leche" we sort of panicked. Dulce de leche sounds difficult to make not to mention time consuming. How can something so delicious be easy to make? No way, Jose. Life doesn't work that way. 

But, then she launched into a pity party about how when she was a wee lass at boarding school in Scotland with evil nuns and no money, she and her friends would take cans of condensed milk which only cost 50 pence, poke holes in the tops and sit them on top of the one radiator in the whole convent for 3 days and then open them up and enjoy the sweet delights of caramelized condensed milk...aka dulce de leche...and it was so simple to make and absolutely Catherine and Abigail you could make dulce de leche, haven't I taught you better, blah blah blah.

Hmmm....still not sure we believe this story, but with dinner approaching, we decided to give the dulce de leche a chance.

We read through 10 different recipes. Mostly because we like to cover our bases slash we are extremely type-A, but also because the recipe was so ridiculously simple that we didn't believe it. Even if it did sound suspiciously similar to Mummy's story.

But, we sheepishly admit, our Mummy was right again.

The Scottish convent school secret is out. Homemade dulce de leche makes the Easy Bake Oven look like advanced rocket science.

Now go and have yourself a theme dinner already!

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
Serves 6

Print Recipe

For the Dulce de Leche:
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
pinch of fleur de sel

For the Ice Cream:
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk

To make the dulce de leche, preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit.

Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish. We used an 8-by-8" glass baking pan. Stir in some flakes of fleur de sel.

Place the glass baking plate into a larger roasting pan. Cover the glass baking dish very tightly with aluminum foil. Then, fill the large roasting pan with hot or boiling water enough to reach halfway up the sides of the glass dish. 

Bake the entire thing for 1 to 1 1/4 hours making sure to check the water level and refill if it gets too low. 

When you pull out the pan, allow to cool and then whisk the now caramelized sweetened condensed milk until smooth. It's ok if it's not perfectly smooth, it will still taste delicious. Just try to stop yourself from taking a spoonful.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to add to the ice cream. If you want to eat the dulce de leche over ice cream or apple pie (or with a spoon by yourself while watching 'Sex in the City' reruns) microwave the sauce gently to soften. Really, it is that easy.

While the dulce de leche is cooling, make the ice cream base.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Pour the milk and cream into a small saucepan warm over low heat until hot, but not boiling. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Very slowly pour the hot cream into the eggs to temper them and whisk until smooth. Don't worry if it's a bit lumpy. You're going to sieve the whole thing at the end.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low until thick and bubbling around the edges. The custard will coat a wooden spoon. Use your instinct. It will feel thicker when you are stirring it.

Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Pour the cream into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is the consistency of frozen whipped cream, right before the ice cream is done, add thick dolops of dulce de leche, allowing the caramel to mix into the ice cream ever-so-slightly.

Then, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze in the refrigerator’s freezer for at least 3 hours until ready to serve.

This would be fabulous with apple pie or ginger cake or anything.

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Reader Comments (12)

Mouth watering! I would love a big scoop of that right now.

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

I can really make dulce de leche that way? That's amazing. I'm going to try this right now!

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCupcakes & Dreams

it looks like another case where mother knows best!! I love dulce de leche and with ice cream, I would be your friend forever .....sigh.....
thanks for a lovely post, I enjoy hearing about your mum!

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChef Dennis

I seriously need an ice cream maker.

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbrandi

I love Dulce de Leche anything. What a great recipe to have in the ice cream arsenal.

October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

Love it, looks so easy to make. dulce de leche coming up ;)

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Johnston

I tend to like themes too....Dulce de leche is the best one!

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBo

I love DDL. I make it in the cans, on the stove, exploding cans be damned. Never made an ice cream of it though. It looks absolutely delicious :D

Yummy! And, I'll admit, I love anything where a can is involved.

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternewlywed

This looks so good. I am particularly fond of any dessert with Dulce de leche:)happy I found your great blog.

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLora @cakeduchess

I live in Brazil, and duce the leche here is very common.
Do you know how we make it? Just put a closed can of the condensed milk in a pan with water, and boil for an hour or so (less if you want it less thick). Then let it cool under cold water for maybe like 10 or so minutes and open. Don't open when it's hot because it will literally squish hot dulce the leche on your face. OR if you have a pressure cooker, use that, for 30 minutes to cook the condensed milk in the can and that's that!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGabriela

Oh blue eyed ones - I'm afraid I've heard the tales of nuns and condensed milk too and seeing as our mummies went to school together I'm guessing it's true!
Now I'm off to make dulche de leche

December 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTorie

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