I must be going crazy. Yeah, making ice-cream when the weather is finally cooler, and putting bacon in the ice cream?! Well, making ice cream in a cooler weather sort of make sense to me. I don’t have to worry about my KitchenAid ice cream churn bowl warming up rapidly in a hot weather (we don’t have Central Air so this really makes sense to me), and putting bacon was a pure curiosity. I was watching Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Food” Paris episode on Netflix about a week ago, and David Lebovitz made a special appearance to make his Candied Bacon Ice Cream. It definitely was a bit bizarre, but very intriguing and it also looked pretty appetizing! So, I took Lebovitz’ recipe from above and tried it myself.
This will make about 3/4 quart:
For the candied bacon;
5 strips bacon
about 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
For the ice cream custard:
3 tablespoons (45g) salted butter
¾ cup (packed) brown sugar (140g), 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
1. To candy the bacon, preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
2. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil, shiny side down.
3. Sprinkle 1½-2 teaspoons of brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon, depending on length.
4. 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 the strips on a wire rack.
5. Once crisp and cool, chop into little pieces, about the size of grains of rice.
(Bacon bits can be stored in an airtight container and chilled for a day or so, or stored in the freezer a few weeks ahead.)
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Cook over low to moderate heat, constantly stirring and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
9. Strain the custard into the half-and-half, stirring over the ice bath, until cool. Add liquor, vanilla and cinnamon, if using.
10. 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, or stir them in when you remove the ice cream from the machine.
My opinion: Can you say “WOW!!” Ok, so the moment I tasted this, the first flavor I encountered was that of caramel, then as I bit into the candied bacon I tasted the savory sweetness, and the more I chewed, the bacon flavor came out. You can almost say it’s like breakfast ice-cream!! well, just kidding. This is a weird sort of marriage between bacon and ice cream (you know when you see a couple who are so different getting married? ), but they truly rock together!! My husband just kept on giggling as he ate this ice-cream (kind of spooky if you ask me), but he was so smitten with this ice-cream he couldn’t stop smiling.