August 18, 2011

Tamarind Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Ribbons

Have you tried Tamarind? This funky looking pod grows in tropical climates and is popular in cuisines around the world.  Beneath the dry and brittle shell of the ripened tamarind lies a fruity pulp the embodies a perfect balance of sweet and sour.  A while ago, I began to experiment with tamarind and came up with a recipe for Chocolate Dipped Tamarind Caramels.  This week, our local Mexican grocery put out a barrelful of  beautiful Tamarind pods, igniting my desire to create once again.

As before, I've paired the sweet, slightly tropical flavor of the tamarind with a buttery salted caramel for this delicious ice cream.  The brown-butter flavor of the salt speckled caramel ribbons is the perfect compliment to the light fruity tang of the tamarind.  The sweet, sour, & salty flavors make for an exquisite spoonful!

Tamarind Ice Cream
with Salted Caramel Ribbons
(to PRINT, click the "Print Friendly" icon at the end of this post)

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
10 tamarind pods, shelled veined, and broken in to segments
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt

1.  Set a strainer over a medium sized bowl nestled in an ice bath.  Set aside.

2.  Heat the milk, cream, granulated sugar, vanilla pods and scrapings, and shelled tamarind pieces in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes, whisking occasionally to help break down the tamarind pulp from the seeds.

3.  While the milk mixture simmers, whisk the egg yolks, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl until thickened and lighter in color (approx. 5 minutes).  

4.  Reduce heat of the milk mixture to medium low.  Whisk half of the warm milk mixture into the beaten yolks, 1/2 cup at a time until combined.  Whisk the milk-yolk mixture back in to the saucepan.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 180 degrees.  Do not allow the mixture to boil.

5.  Immediately strain the mixture into the prepared strainer & bowl.  Discard the vanilla bean and seeds.  Allow the mixture to come to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

6.  Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.  

7.  When the ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency, transfer 1/4 of the batch to a 1 quart container.  Drizzle with caramel (you may need to slightly warm your caramel to do this).  Continue to alternate ice cream and caramel.  Chill overnight.

For the Salted Caramel

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream plus 3 Tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons flaky salt (like Maldon, Fleur de Sel or Sel Gris)

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, stir sugar, corn syrup, water an 1/4 cup cream to combine.  Bring to a boil, without stirring any further, over medium heat until the mixture reaches 235 (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer.  Immediately remove from heat and stir in vanilla and remaining 3 Tablespoons of cream.  Cool in the saucepan for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with the salt.  Gently fold in to the caramel with a silicone spatula.  Set aside to cool.  When you are ready to add the caramel to the ice cream, if caramel has become too firm to form ribbons when drizzled from a spoon, return the saucepan to a burner over low heat until caramel becomes pliable.

This post has been linked-up with:

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Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom 


  1. Wow Jenn, that sounds amazing. I use tamarind in my curries all the time. It is perfectly sour, and delicious.

    I would have NEVER ever thought to make ice cream with it though, WOW.

    Thanks so much for a wonderful idea, and recipe. I bet it was yummy, otherwise you'd never share it, lol.

    How have you been my friend. I've been SUPER busy, and schools back in session, with my little one finally starting on Monday, THANK GOODNESS, he he.

    Hope you are well, and talk to you soon.

    p.s. If you get a chance I'm inviting you over to my blog, I'm kinda having a HUGE giveaway going on, and you MIGHT like it, (or LOVE it). I'd be so happy to have your support!
    Hugs, Bella :)
    **$5 for every LIKE giveaway** @ Bella Before and After
    **$200 SHOP till you DROP giveaway** @ Bella Before and After.

  2. i'm not familiar with tamarind, although your recipe sounds delicious.

  3. That sounds delicious!

    Do you ever make your own tamarind paste for Thai dishes? I can't find premade paste in my small town, but I was able to get some tamarind pods from the Mexican store. I've been told to shell and seed the pods, then remove the pith and soak the fruit for 20 minutes in hot water. I haven't tried it, yet, but I'd love to make Pad Thai.

  4. Jenn, we use tamarind all the time in traditional Indian cooking, but I've never heard of it used in desserts. I can't wait to try out both these treats the first chance I get!

  5. Jenn, this sounds amazing. Sweet, sour, salty... I love what you create with food. So very much not a gift of mine. You make me want to try.

  6. Now this is right up my alley. The next time you come over you will have to make it for me! LOL! I an dream can't I?
    Just wanted to hop over and say THANK YOU for linking up with the frog last week! We had a record breaking week; all because of you!

  7. thanks for linking up to Catch as Catch Can. I'm way too boring of an eater.

  8. I have never tried tamarind, but I sure do want to now! Thank you for a wonderful recipe and tutorial. Your recipe sounds just delicious, and what mouthwatering photos! Thank you for sharing this post with the Gallery of Favorites.


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