Vanilla Ice Cream with Butterscotch Swirl

vanilla butterscotch swirl
Photo by Steve Legato
  • Yield: 4 cups


Vanilla Ice Cream:
1 1/2cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/4cups whole milk
1/2cup granulated sugar
1/4cup light corn syrup
1/8teaspoon kosher salt
2 vanilla beans
3tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
2tablespoons cornstarch
1/4teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Butterscotch Swirl:
3/4cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4cup light corn syrup
3tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of kosher salt
1/3cup heavy whipping cream
1/2teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. To makes the ice cream: Combine the cream, 1/2 cup milk, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bans in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the cream mixture. Add the pods to the pan.
  2. Cook oer medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to stea; watch it carefully and make sure it does not come to a boil.
  3. While the mixture heats, combine the remaining milk, milk powder, cornstarch, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, and stir until smooth and both of the powders have dissolved.
  4. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan, and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Whisky the mixture until smooth, and simmer the mixture over very low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, or until thickened. Remove and discard the vanilla bean pods. If the mixture is lumpy, strain it through a sieve.
  5. Transfer the hot liquid to a storage container, and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the mixture uncovered until it is completely chilled (below 40F).
  6. To make the swirl: Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Increase the heat to high, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles are large and thick. Remove the pan from the heat, and carefully add the cream and vanilla, stirring with a long-handled spoon; the mixture will bubble furiously at first.
  7. Return the pan to the stove and cook over low heat until the sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  8. Meanwhile, freeze the chilled ice cream custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  9. Transfer the butterscotch to the bottom of a chilled mixing bowl. Pour the soft ice cream in a smooth layer atop the butterscotch and fold the two together gently using a wide rubber spatula.
  10. Serve immediately for a soft ice cream, or freeze until hard. Allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving if frozen solid.
  11. For a grown-up version, substitute 2 tablespoons brandy or rum for 2 tablespoons of the cream in the butterscotch sauce.

Reprinted with permission from Ellen Brown’s Scoop: 125 Specialty Ice Creams from the Nation’s Best Creameries (Running Press, May 2011).