This week my brother, who’s a culinary student, and my sister-in-law of Whole Lotta Food (check them out!) are visiting. We have some kitchen rivalry and I like to think I inspired his career choice, but when I asked him what he wanted me to cook for him, he requested my bacon ice cream. I’m a firm believer that everything’s better with bacon and I have a bit of a reputation for being…obsessed. Well, who isn’t? Candied bacon takes it to a whole new level with that sweet/salty/crunchy/chewy combo that can’t be beat!
Bacon desserts are my favorite and I consider this one my specialty. This time I decided to pair it with a Peanut Butter Chip Blondie. The flavor combination is from a family breakfast classic that just works: pancakes topped with peanut butter, syrup and bacon.
The alcohol in the ice cream is optional, but besides adding some extra flavor, it keeps the ice cream from freezing into a solid block in your freezer. I recommend making extra candied bacon for garnishment and because the slices have a way of disappearing…especially if there are other people around. Sometimes I candy the bacon in the oven with brown sugar, sometimes over the stove with white. Go with whatever is easiest for you. The blondie recipe is excellent and can easily be doubled for a 13×9 pan.
Peanut Butter Chip Blondies
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 baking pan.
In a saucepan melt the butter. While the butter is melting, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Remove butter from heat and add brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle with peanut butter chips. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean.
Maple Bacon Ice Cream
Ingredients for the candied bacon:
- 6 slices of thick cut bacon
- 3 teaspoons of brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400. Line bottom and sides of a cookie sheet with foil, shiny side down. If your bacon is fatty, place a baking rack inside the cookie sheet and cook on top of rack to let the grease drip down. Lay bacon in single layer and sprinkle half a teaspoon of sugar over each slice. Bake for 12-16 minutes, turning bacon halfway through. Bacon should be a dark mahogany color. Chop after cooled.
If you would like to candy over the stove, use white sugar and bacon that has already been cooked. Pour sugar in bottom of skillet, lay bacon on top and let cook over medium heat until the sugar melts. Turn to coat bacon in syrup and remove before sugar burns. Cool on parchment.
Ingredients for the ice cream:
- 3 cups of half-and-half, divided
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
- 5 large egg yokes
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon dark rum or brandy, optional
Prepare an ice bath. Pour 2 cups of half-and-half in a large bowl and set bowl in the ice bath with a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
Heat 1 cup of half-and-half in a medium saucepan along with the brown sugar. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yokes. Slowly pour the warmed milk into the egg yokes, whisking briskly. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat and pour through the strainer mixing it with the remaining half-and-half. Add the maple syrup, vanilla and rum. After the custard has cooled, chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, preferably at least 8 hours. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add chopped candied bacon during the last few minutes of churning.
Yield: about 1 quart
Ice cream inspired by and adapted from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz