It may seem strange to even be considering putting salt in ice cream but it is one of the small but important ingredients. Of course, it is used in very tiny amounts but it is normally added as a flavor enhancer.
Use none and your ice cream may be bland. Just the right amount and the flavors will pop, especially if you have used caramel, chocolate, or berries in your ice cream.
Too much, though, and your ice cream will be inedible and ruined. Tread lightly with this ingredient!
Can You Use Pickling Salt to Make Ice Cream?
It is unique in that it does not contain any anti-caking agents, so will not produce cloudiness in the preserving liquid. It has fine grains that dissolve easily.
This salt is highly concentrated so rather use a little less than your recipe states, then taste it before adding more.
To answer our original question – can you use pickling salt to make ice cream? – yes, you certainly can. It will dissolve easily and bring out the flavor of the other ingredients.
Although this salt is used for pickling, it is not acidic in itself. It is simply used because its purity means the clarity of the pickling brine will not be spoiled. It does not contain any kind of pickling ingredients.
Use it in the same way as normal table salt but be careful to store it in an airtight container because it will clump together if it comes into contact with any moisture.
Substitutes For Ice Cream Salt
Not all salt is created equal, however, and there are several different kinds, each with its own application. Let’s look at them before considering if you can use pickling salt in ice cream.
- Table Salt
This is the cheapest and most common form of sodium chloride. In the US, table salt has iodine added to prevent deficiencies in the population.
It is treated with anti-caking agents and has had the minerals removed. This type is ideal for baking where exact measurement is needed. As such, it is a good addition to ice cream.
- Kosher Salt
This pure salt has bigger crystals than table salt and a mild taste. It would also be fine to add to your ice cream as long as you measure it carefully and be sure to dissolve it properly.
- Himalayan Pink Salt
This salt is trendy right now, probably because of its pretty color but also because some believe it has health benefits. It gets its color from the minerals contained in it.
Use it in your ice cream if you like but be careful to grind it finely first to prevent getting big undissolved crystals in your dessert. A spice grinder works well to reduce it to a fine powder before adding it to your ice cream.
- Black Salt
This strangely colored Asian salt leaves dishes with an eggy taste and aroma due to its sulfur content.
It is processed at high heat with Indian spices and herbs and these are what give it this property. We wouldn’t recommend using it for ice cream as it may taint the delicate flavors.
Please enjoy our bonus recipe which shows you that you can indeed use pickling salt for ice cream.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
- 1 ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- 1/8 teaspoon pickling salt
- 4 extra-large egg yolks (use the whites to make meringues)
- ¼ teaspoon extra pickling salt
- Use a medium-sized pot over a medium flame to make the caramel first. Melt ¾ cup of the sugar with 3 tablespoons of water. Do not stir but simply turn the pot to mix. Cook until the sugar becomes a dark brown color.
- Add the cream, milk, the rest of the sugar, and the pickling salt. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the caramel has melted and you have a smooth, creamy liquid. Take the pot off the flame.
- Using a small bowl, beat the egg yolks. Whisk about a quarter of the hot cream mixture into the eggs then pour this into the pot with the remaining cream.
- Put the pot back over a medium flame and cook gently, stirring, until the mixture thickens and covers the back of the spoon.
- Strain the mixture through a fine muslin into a clean bowl. Leave to cool then chill overnight in the fridge.
- The next day, churn the ice cream in an ice cream machine until frozen. Sprinkle in the last ¼ teaspoon of salt during the final minutes of churning. Serve from the churner or keep it in the freezer until needed. This ice cream is best if eaten within a couple of days of making it.