My wife ordered vanilla ice cream with pretzel pieces mixed in, and caramel sauce on top, and was enraptured. It made perfect sense; we all know salt and caramel go great together. The pretzels provide the salt along with a beautiful crunch and that warm, toasted flavor.
So I thought, why not go one better? Let's make the ice cream itself taste like pretzels.
2 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces unsalted mini pretzels
flaky sea salt
for serving: salted pretzels, dark caramel sauce
In a microwavable bowl, stir together 1 cup of whole milk with the sugar.
Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved.
In a large container with a lid, combine the sugared milk, remaining cup of milk, cream, and pretzels.
Refrigerate for at least two hours, shaking occasionally.
Taste and confirm that the cream has absorbed enough pretzel flavor; if not, infuse longer.
In a colander, strain the cream mixture, pressing down on the pretzels to extract as much liquid as possible.
Then pass the cream again through a fine sieve to remove little bits of pretzel.
Process according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
When it is done but not frozen hard, fold in flaky sea salt to taste.
Recipe and by Herbavoracious: Yields about 3 cups