It’s not often (or ever) that I post ice cream/treat recipes on here, so when I do, you know they’ve gotta be two things: 1) simple, and 2) REALLY FREAKING DELICIOUS. And this Paleo Maple Vanilla Ice Cream with Sunbutter and Sea Salt Caramel Swirl hits on alll those marks. And so, so many more. Like holy CRAP why did I never think to pair these together before because they are mother-freaking-AMAZING. Dropping flavor bombs left and right.
Drooling/dying of happiness, it’s fiiiine.
And this caramel sauce? Holy SHIZZ you guys. So let me tell you – I had never made caramel sauce before a few years ago when I was volunteering at a professional cooking school (basically taking classes for free by helping out the chefs during their classes) and I learned how to make a “real” caramel – the cream, butter, corn syrup (*gag*) the whole shebang. So I understood the process, but I’d never tried to make it myself, and had zero idea how I could make it dairy free, or without corn syrup because UM YUCK.
And THEN. In summer 2015 when Juli from PaleOMG came out with her latest cookbook and it had a recipe for Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce? UMMM literally one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. or tasted. I put that sh*t on EVERYTHING. And I didn’t think I would ever need another caramel recipe ever again. I’ve slightly modified it for this recipe, but all the credit on how to make it goes to Juli. She’s a freaking recipe GENIUS, y’all.
So. Back to the ice cream. Sure, you’ve probably had a homemade vanilla ice cream. You’ve probably had peanut butter ice cream. Or dulce de leche (caramel swirl). But the three combined, and all topped off with some coarse sea salt? UM. Tastebuds just took a one-way trip to flavortown, and yes I totally just
stole borrowed that word from the Food Network show I used to love so much (DDD, ooobviously). The creaminess of the homemade vanilla ice cream is balanced out with the stick-to-your mouth (and ribs) feeling you get from the sunflower seed butter, and you also get that ultimate sweet and salty combination when you stir the caramel sauce in. Holy WOWZA you guys there are no words. Just dooo it.
- 30 oz full-fat coconut milk, full fat (2 cans)
- 4 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Maple extract
- 4 whole Egg Yolks
- ¼ cup natural sunflower seed butter
- Coarse sea salt
- First, make the ice cream base: combine the coconut milk, maple syrup, and egg yolks in a small pot on the stove over medium-low heat.
- Whisking constantly, heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This should take about 5-7 MINUTES.
- Take the pot off the heat, and stir in the vanilla and maple extracts.
- Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan, and place in the refrigerator to cool for about 2-3 hours, or up to overnight (about 8 hours).
- Once the mixture is fully chilled, assemble your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Turn the machine on, pour the mixture in, and allow it to churn for about 20 minutes. If you double the recipe, this will take about 25 minutes until it’s fully churned.
- While the ice cream is churning, make your caramel sauce: combine all the ingredients except vanilla extract and ¼ tsp sea salt in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Bring the caramel to a boil, stirring frequently, scraping the bottom and sides to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. Then turn the pan down to medium low heat and continue at a low boil for about 10 minutes. Make sure you watch the pan to make sure it doesn’t boil over. Turn off the heat, and allow the pan to sit for about 5 minutes. The caramel with thicken as it cools. Stir in the vanilla extract and additional ¼ tsp sea salt.
- Let the caramel cool a little before serving.
- Pour the mixture back into the loaf pan and drizzle the sunflower seed butter on top, then stir until it’s swirled to your liking. Serve immediately if you’d like a soft serve consistency, or place it in the freezer to chill for about an hour. You may need to thaw the ice cream a little bit before serving.
- Serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce! And maybe some chocolate chips. If you’re packing a pint for leftovers (umm, if you have any…), stir in the caramel sauce before storing in the freezer.
Oh, PS. Feel free to sub any kind of nut or seed butter here. I only tried it with unsweetened sunflower seed butter, but I’m suuuure it would be amazing with any other kind, as long as it’s drippy enough to drizzle. Try Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter for a crazy, knock-your-socks-off flavor bomb!
Ice cream base adapted from Primal Palate, Caramel Sauce adapted from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook.