Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Brown Butter Bacon Ice Cream

5 strips of bacon
2 T light brown sugar
3 T salted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 3/4 cups half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons dark rum or whiskey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

Preparing the candied bacon:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil, shiny-side down.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon, depending on length.

Bake for 12 to 16 minutes. Midway through baking, flip the bacon strips over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that's collected on the baking sheet. Continue to bake until the bacon is as dark as mahogany. Remove from oven and cool the bacon strips on a wire rack.

Once cooled and crisp, chop the bacon into little pieces.

* * * * * *

Preparing the ice cream custard:
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.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in some of the warm brown sugar mixture. 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 spatula.

Add the rum, vanilla and cinnamon.

Chill the mixture for about 5 hours. Once thoroughly chilled, pour into ice cream maker. Add the bacon bits during the last moment of churning, or stir them in when you remove the ice cream from the machine.

Makes 3/4 of a quart


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