BUTTERED POPCORN & SEA SALT CARAMEL PARFAIT
(Makes 4 parfaits)
Prep time 25 minutes
2 quarts half-and-half
1 stick unsalted butter
1 bag movie theater buttered popcorn, popped
(Reserve 1 large handful for garnish)
3-1/2 cups granulated white sugar
16 egg yolks
1 quart heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
SEA SALT CARAMEL
2 cups granulated white sugar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
Coarse sea salt
1 cup bittersweet chocolate sauce
3 sprigs mint for garnish
Heat the half-and-half and the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat until scalding. Remove from the heat and add the fresh popcorn and allow to steep to develop flavor until cool, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks. Reheat the popcorn mixture. Take the cream off the heat and slowly whisk the hot popcorn into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Place the mixture on medium heat and cook until it begins to thicken (it should coat the back of a spoon). Add the cold heavy cream to stop the cooking. Immediately pass through a fine sieve into a bowl over an ice bath to stop the cooking. Add a pinch of salt and the vanilla. Once cool, process according to the manufacturer’s directions on an ice cream machine. Transfer to a freezer to set overnight.
To make the caramel: In a clean saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, cooking until a dark brown color is achieved. Remove from the heat. Carefully stir in the heavy cream. Return to the heat cooking until very thick. Take ½ cup of the caramel and drizzle it over the remaining handful of popcorn for garnish, and set aside. Immediately transfer the remaining caramel to a bowl over an ice bath just long enough to stop the cooking, but still warm and fluid. Add the coarse sea salt to taste. Reserve at room temperature.
To serve: Coat the inside of 4 parfait glasses with the caramel, sprinkled with a little more sea salt if you choose. Place scoops of ice cream and drizzle with caramel and chocolate sauces, alternating until glass is almost full. Slowly fill with the ginger ale just to fill the air gaps. Garnish with the caramel popcorn and sprig of mint.
© Jimmy Schmidt
Morgan’s in the desert-La Quinta Resort, California
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