Saturday, May 30, 2009

Candied Bacon Ice Cream

The Altitude Adjustment Section
The summer season has officially begun, so I think it's time to start thinking about making light homemade ice cream and sorbets. They are so easy and so delicious. I was going to do a wonderful coconut lime sorbet my husband loves, but then while browsing through the cookbook of the week Bacon: A Love Story, I came across this crazy recipe for candied bacon ice cream (originally was created by David Lebovitz) and I thought, "carpe diem, baby!" So here we go! This recipe makes 3/4 of a quart of super rich ice cream.

5 strips good bacon (applewood smoked)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 3/4 cups half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons dark rum or whiskey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


You can candy the bacon way ahead of time. Start by placing the slices on a sheet pan lined with a silpat or aluminum foil (shiny side down). Sprinkle 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons brown sugar evenly over the strips of bacon and bake for 12-16 minutes. Midway through baking, flip over bacon and run it through the puddle of brown sugar on the sheet pan. Bake till it is glazed and dark brown. Remove bacon and let cool on wire rack. Once cool and crisp, chop bacon into small pieces about the size of grains of rice.

To make the ice cream, melt the butter in a thick medium sized saucepan over low heat. Stir in the dark brown sugar and half of the half-and-half. Pour the remaining half-and-half into a metal bowl sitting over an ice bath. Get a mesh strainer ready to use. Heat the sugar cream mixture till hot, but not boiling — you just want the sugar to dissolve. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and gradually add the warmed sugar cream mixture to the yolks, whisking all the time. Next pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat till the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of your spoon. You are basically making cooked custard. Be careful as this could burn if not well tended. Strain this mixture through your sieve into the remaining chilled half-and-half. Stir till chilled then add the liquor, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

Refrigerate till thoroughly chilled and then process in your ice cream maker as directed. Add the candied bacon bits during the last 5 minutes of churning the ice cream. Make this if you dare!