We finished off the rest of the Meyer Lemon gelato last night, and I was feeling the need to fill the void IMMEDIATELY. Also, I have my landlord’s ice cream maker on loan and am itching to put it to good use. Whilst poking around on the interweb for ice cream recipes, I found one for candied bacon ice cream on David Lebovitz’s site. I really can’t think of a flavor I’d like to make more. Well, except maybe some of the Humphry Slocombe flavors (government cheese flavored ice cream? BLOWING. MY. MIND.), but anyways. I don’t care how cliché the bacon dessert trend is, I am all over it like salt on caramel.
As all good things in life start, this one started with candying some bacon strips. It sounds kinda fancy, but it really just means baking bacon with brown sugar until it caramelizes. The hardest part is not stuffing it all in my mouth.
I chopped the bacon into little bits and hid them to keep from eating them.
Then I made a custard flavored with brown sugar and cinnamon. The recipe called for rum, but we don’t have any and I was much too lazy to go get some.
I chilled the custard and put it in the ice cream spinner. Once it was thick and creamy I tossed in the bacon bits. Then I spooned it into a container and stuck it in the freezer to firm up. This is always the hardest part, waiting and waiting until it seems “ready”.
As usual, we only made it an hour, long before it was completely firm. But to be honest, I like the pre-firm squishy moment of ice cream. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m digging in.
Update: I just went for a run in the rain to justify coming back to the house and eating bacon ice cream for lunch. I think I might be in trouble.
For the candied bacon:
5 strips bacon
about 2 tablespoons brown sugar
For the ice cream custard:
3 tablespoons (45g) salted butter
¾ cup (packed) brown sugar (170g), light or dark (you can use either)
2¾ (675ml) cup half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons dark rum or whiskey
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
To candy the bacon:
- preheat the oven to 400.
- Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon.
- Bake for 12-16 minutes. Midway during baking, flip the bacon strips over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet.
- Continue to bake until as dark as mahogany. Remove from oven and cool.
- Once cool, chop into little pieces.
To make the ice cream custard:
- melt the butter in a heavy, medium-size saucepan.
- Stir in the brown sugar and half of the half-and-half.
- Pour the remaining half-and-half into a bowl set in an ice bath and set a mesh strainer over the top.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the warm brown sugar mixture to them, whisking the yolks constantly as you pour.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
- Cook over medium low heat, constantly stirring and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
- Strain the custard into the half-and-half, stirring over the ice bath, until cool.
- Add liquor, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Refrigerate the mixture.
- Once thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Add the bacon bits during the last moment of churning.