Candied Bacon Ice Cream
I’m not really a dessert junkie. That said, I tasted this years ago in Northwest Arkansas and have craved it ever since. Yesterday I was tasked to bring a dessert to a friend’s gathering. Hence, Candied Bacon Ice Cream!
Guys, this one isn’t for total noobies but you CAN learn to do this and if you are a dessert junkie, well, this is your gateway drug.
I had to learn to crack an egg and separate the yolks, something I found quite messy at first. Crack too hard. Oops, mess or break the yolks. Crack too softly. Oops, won’t open, then by pressing too hard, a mess. Don’t bother to buy a fancy yolk separator gadget. That wastes time and takes up precious drawer space. Learn to use your (clean) hands and fingers to let the white slip out while retaining the yolks.
To quote Steve Jobs, “but wait, there’s more!” The one, most important thing to successfully complete this recipe, or any that requires incorporating eggs into a hot mixture, is the patience required to combine your yolks with the warm/hot brown sugar mixture. It involves something called tempering your eggs. If you pour your hot mixture into your eggs too fast, and raise the temperature of your eggs too much, you will effectively “scramble” the eggs. Not good, and in fact I have done this more than once. Once done, you cannot take the scramble out of the eggs and you have to start over. So. Take your time!
The trick is to add a little bit of mix at a time while stirring constantly so that the temperature of the eggs rises slowly and won’t curdle. As the eggs temperature rises you can add more and a little faster until it is all mixed together. Then you can return it to the sauce-pot and cook on low-medium heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and call it custard. Hint: it should be releasing a little steam and while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan your spatula will begin to leave a little trail like the wake of a boat. It’s ready.
Credit to a guy named David Liebovitz for the base recipe, and modified only slightly. I did re-write the directions into a cooking for noobies language though and I hope you find it helpful.
Candied Bacon Ice Cream
Ingredients – Candied bacon
- 5 Strips of bacon
- 5 tsp brown sugar (1 per piece)
- 5 Strips of Candied Bacon – chopped
- 3 TBL of Butter
- 5 Egg Yolks
- 2 3/4 Cups Half & Half – divided
- 3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar (packed)
- 2 tsp Dark Rum or Bourbon
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions – Candied bacon
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF
- Lay each slice of bacon on a baking sheet that is lined with aluminum foil shiny side down
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of brown sugar over each slice of bacon, ensuring that each piece is equally covered.
- After your oven is preheated, bake for 15-16 minutes. Halfway through baking, flip each strip over while dragging it through the syrupy liquid on the baking sheet
- Continue to cook until each piece is as dark as mahogany
- Remove the bacon from the oven then place the strips on a wire rack to cool
- Chop into rice-size pieces and refrigerate until ready to use
Instructions – Ice Cream
- 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
- Turn the heat low to avoid getting the brown sugar mix too hot
- In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks
- Gradually add some of the warm brown sugar mixture to them, whisking the yolks constantly as you pour little by little until it is all incorporated – too fast means curdled eggs!
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan
- Cook over low to moderate heat, constantly stirring and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon
- Strain the custard into the half-and-half, stirring over the ice bath, until cool
- Add liquor and vanilla
- Refrigerate until ready to churn. Get it as cold as possible to facilitate churning
- Once thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker
- Add the bacon bits during the last moment of churning
- Use a spatula to transfer the ice cream to a bowl or freezer container
- Return to freezer to finish