My mom and I liked to play a little game all week called "just one bite" where instead of scooping up a whole bowl of ice cream, we would just take one bite.
I'm going to warn you right now... you will not be able to limit yourself to one bite of my newest ice cream creation. Maple Bourbon Bacon Pecan Ice Cream. (Say that five times fast).
I know some of your are skeptical about putting bacon in ice cream. Stop. Just stop. It's ridiculously awesome and that's the end of the discussion. Especially because we're using candied bacon. Just like my Gouda Mac & Cheese, I used my favorite nitrate free bacon from Vermont Smoke and Cure. Put it on a parchment lined pan, sprinkle generously with brown sugar and bake 15-20 minutes. *Note: I made 6 pieces so I could have extra for garnishing. You could use anywhere between 3-5 pieces depending on how bacon-y you want it. (Is that a word? I don't think so but who cares).
I had some pecans on hand as well, so in those went. I mixed them with the bacon grease (mmmm bacon grease), more brown sugar, and baked them on the same pan for about 5-7 minutes.
The custard base was inspired by Tullmeadow. Which is to say... I used a lot of cream. My original plan was to just use half and half from Arethusa Dairy. But then I remembered my mom bought some cream for her blueberries. So I used a cup of heavy cream annnnnnnd two cups of the half and half. Soooo what I'm saying is... this is super low fat. (sarcasm font) Also, I generally add a bit of vodka to my base to prevent it from freezing too hard... in this case I swapped it for some bourbon to play off the smoky flavors from the bacon.
I triple dog dare you to have just one bite.
Maple Bourbon Candied Bacon & Pecan Ice Cream
Prep Time: 1 hour
Keywords: dessert bacon bourbon maple syrup pecan ice-cream
Ingredients (1 quart)
- 4-5 slices thick sliced bacon
- ~1/2 brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 egg yolks
InstructionsFor the bacon & pecans:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place bacon on top and generously sprinkle with about 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, reserving the rest for the pecans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon has browned and cooked through. Set aside to cool. Finely chop. (Save one piece of bacon for garnish if you like).
- Carefully pour bacon grease from the pan into a small bowl with the pecans and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar. Stir and spread back out on the same pan used to cook the bacon. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Cool and finely chop. (reserve a few pecans for garnish if you'd like)
For the ice cream:
- Combine one cup of the half and half, cream, sugars, salt in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium until very warm, but not boiling.
- Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Place a smaller bowl inside and pour in the other cup of half and half, maple syrup, vanilla and bourbon.
- To make the custard, whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl and gradually add about a 1/2 cup of the warm cream mixture into the eggs while continually whisking. This will help "temper" them so they don't scramble. Return egg mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, strain custard into chilled bowl with the cream. Stir until mixture has cooled down considerably. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
- Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Towards the end of the process (when ice cream is 2-5 minutes from being finished), add in the candied bacon bits and pecans and continue freezing. Transfer to a freezer-safe container freeze for an additional couple hours for more traditional ice cream consistency. Garnish with additional bacon and pecans if desired.
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