That's right, you read it correctly...candied bacon ice cream. A slightly bacon obsessed friend of mine just had a birthday and as a gift I made her candied bacon ice cream. I knew she would enjoy it because this was the same person who introduced me to candied bacon and took third place in our office's Iron Chef competition with chocolate covered bacon. Since I'm not the first person to have thought of this concoction, I decided to follow David Lebovitz's recipe.
Pretty simple really with a fairly standard custard-based ice cream. I was a little dubious about adding the rum because a) I don't like dark rum (or dark liquors as a rule really) and b) I was worried that the addition of the rum would make the ice cream not set up very well. Nevertheless, I made the custard according to the recipe and chilled it overnight in a stainless steel bowl. I find that it helps to have the mix as cold as possible before putting it through the ice cream maker.
Next I proceeded to candy the bacon. I tried this once before for our Saint Nicholas party but didn't let it cool properly. Candying bacon is actually fairly simple. Cover a cookie sheet or shallow pan with tin foil (shiny side down) and lay out your bacon. The sprinkle each slice with light brown sugar.
Bake in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes (adjust for your oven and the thickness of the bacon). After 10 minutes, flip the slices over dragging the unsugared side through the greasy, sugary goo in the pan.
Hugely important-when you put the bacon back in the over...don't set the timer for another 10 minutes because then this happens:
And despite the wide open balcony door and hastily turned on kitchen fan, my smoke alarm started screaming at me. Granted we have the world's most sensitive smoke alarm and it goes off if we set the toaster more than half dark. So I had to drag the step ladder across the kitchen and try to climb it and turn off the alarm while at the same time covering both my ears from the shrieking reminder of my bacon candying failure. That done...I tried again and this time left the bacon in only 3 minutes after the drag through goo flip phase. Much better.
Now Mr. Lebovitz says to cool the bacon on a wire rack. I don't have a wire rack so I got a little creative.
And yes those are bamboo skewers resting on two boxes of Fiber One bars. But you know what? It worked.
Fast forward to the next day and it's time to run the custard through the ice cream maker. I love my ice cream maker. It took much longer than usual for it to really start freezing and I don't know if it was the rum, or if it was because I had the ice cream bowl in the freezer for only about a day (I used to keep it in there permanently before we started running out of freezer space).
When I saw that the ice cream was starting to form I broke up all the bacon and let it mix around a little before taking the ice cream out of the mixer and freezing it.
The birthday girl was kind enough to share the ice cream with a couple of us and it was a lot better than I thought it would be. I was skeptical. But even with the rum it was pretty great. You got some of the rum up front followed by the brown sugar/cinnamon creaminess and then finished of with the sweet bacon. Really it was good.