Posted by: gbdub | December 10, 2009

Evil Food #2: Candied Bacon and Bourbon Ice Cream

I submit to that there is no food item that cannot be improved with the addition of bacon. None. I defy you to prove me wrong. Bacon is nature’s candy. Bacon is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Bacon is like the Force: it has a light part, a dark part, and it binds the universe your arteries together. And so, my fellow Cutlerists, I present to you BACON ICE CREAM. With BOURBON in it.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Go on, take a few minutes to gather up the scattered bits of your BLOWN MIND. I’ll wait.

Okay. Now, some of you are likely reeling in disgust. Oh, you weak-minded sheeple, cowering in the fear of the unknown and unusual. You are wrong, oh so very wrong. Ponder the bacon. Try the bacon. Accept the bacon. It will make you a better man/woman/tentacled space creature cursed to be from a planet where pigs do not roam. Seriously though, before you think I’ve lost my marbles completely, consider this: how many of you love sweet and salty foods? Caramel corn? Chocolate covered pretzels? Honey roasted peanuts? This recipe combines the ultimate salty food (bacon) with the ultimate sweet food (ice cream), and mashes them together with the ultimate alcoholic beverage (bourbon) and just a touch of a magical spice (cinnamon) in a culinary All-Star team of epic deliciousness.

Give it a try. You’ll love it and wonder why you never thought of it before. Or you’ll hate it, and wonder what’s wrong with me. But really, the worst case is that you’re out a few bucks worth of ingredients, and you’ll still be able to tell your friends you ate bacon ice cream. Win-win, really.

Ingredients. Note that the five* basic Evil Food Groups  are all represented: sugary, crispy, greasy, salty, and boozy. The fact that bacon alone covers at least three of these (four if you dip it in maple syrup) should convince you of what an awesome food item it is.

* four food groups are for sissies

Melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar and half the half and half. Put the remaining half and half in another bowl and chill in the freezer while making the custard (you’re going to use it later to quickly chill the custard and stop the cooking process)

Whisk together the egg yolks. Set the egg whites aside and make yourself an omelette. Lord knows you’ll need a healthy breakfast after making this. Then again, seeing as eggs and bacon are the primary ingredients, isn’t bacon ice cream a breakfast food? I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for breakfast, but I wouldn’t not recommend it…

Slowly add the eggs to the warm half and half mixture, whisking constantly. Then cook on low heat, constantly stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

Strain the custard into the chilled half and half.

Stir in cinnamon, vanilla, and one tablespoon of liquor. Chill in the refrigerator.

Here’s where the magic happens. Spread 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons of light brown sugar over each bacon strip…

…and bake at 400° for 12-16 minutes, turning once, until strips are crisp and have a dark caramel glaze. Seriously, this is just… wow.

I mean seriously, look at that. Caramel coated bacon. Also note the extremely sexy Wusthof Culinar 8″ chef’s knife, an amazingly awesome gift from my Aunt Sharon. If you don’t own a nice forged chef’s knife, do yourself a favor and find a generous family member willing to give you one.

After the bacon cools completely, chop into small pieces. You may want to make an extra slice of bacon, as there will inevitably be attrition at this point.

Freeze the chilled ice cream custard according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. At the last minute of stirring, add the bacon and two more tablespoons of liquor.

Fresh out of the maker, you’ve basically got soft serve. Pop in the freezer to firm up for a few hours.

And then you have bacon ice cream. Try not to eat it all at once. If your friends give you grief, just smile and shake your head knowingly, for you have discovered a unique dessert nirvana all your own.

Candied Bacon and Bourbon Ice Cream (adapted from this guy, who is a genius)

Ingredients:

  1. 3 tablespoons salted butter
  2. ¾ cups (packed) brown sugar
  3. 2 ¾ cup half and half
  4. 5 large egg yolks
  5. 3 tablespoons bourbon (dark rum would also work)
  6. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 5 strips bacon
  9. about 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in 3/4 cups brown sugar and half of the half and half. Chill the remaining half of the half and half in a separate bowl in the freezer. Whisk together the egg yolks, and add slowly to the warm half and half mixture, whisking constantly. Cook over low heat, continually scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Continue until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the chilled half and half, then stir in the cinnamon, vanilla, and one tablespoon of bourbon. Chill in the refrigerator.

To make the candied bacon, place the bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of light brown sugar over each bacon strip. Bake at 400° for 12-16 minutes. Halfway through, flip the bacon and spoon the melted sugar over it. Bacon should come out crisp and coated in a shiny caramel glaze. Cool completely, then chop into small pieces.

Freeze the ice cream base according to your ice cream maker’s directions. In the last minute of churning, add the bacon and two tablespoons of liquor. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and firm up in the freezer for at least two hours.

Makes about 1 quart.

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Responses

  1. “I submit to that there is no food item that cannot be improved with the addition of bacon.”

    Garrick, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear you were my friend Galen.

    I soooooooooo want to make this right now. It makes me think of how delicious my ice cream sundaes were when I snuck shots of my dad’s whiskey into them.

  2. Bacon is awesome. Have you had bacon/chocolate muffins?

  3. p.s. I forgot about whiskey and ice cream. Needs to be had by me.

  4. I think adding chocolate would make is kosher.

  5. Next batch will be dark chocolate – bourbon ice cream with bacon and english toffee bits, I think.

  6. omg i insanely admire BACON!

  7. Hey Chef John! Please note that everything below is my hosent opinion. I respect you as a chef and I don’t mean any ill will.. so please don’t take it that way 🙂 I tried your recipe on Friday/Saturday. I made a few mistakes but that was my own fault. Instead of whisking the eggs with the sugar before adding the liquids, I dumped everything in a bowl and mixed that together. It just took a little longer to combine everything. I also didn’t have any allspice on hand so I used nutmeg instead. The bread pudding itself turned out wonderful however the I didn’t like how the sauce came out. I made the sauce as directed but it must’ve been the corn syrup that gave it a not so pleasant after taste. I actually ended up using one of my friend’s recipes which I’ve included below. Bourbon sauce2 oz bourbon1 cup half and half3/4 cup brown sugar1 egg, beaten3 tbsp butterPut everything but the bourbon in a pan. Heat on low, stirring constantly until thickened. Add bourbon. Strain sauce to get rid of egg lumps. Sorry for the long comment.. but I hope this helps you out 🙂


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