Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Bacon Ice Cream
We just had one of the most beautiful 4th of July weekends that I can ever remember. Having grown up in Seattle, there weren't many years that the holiday wasn't spent in the rain. While we usually still enjoyed the holiday, there's just nothing like spending the weekend at the beach, grilling and enjoying the beautiful outdoors. That also means that our ice cream maker is making up for its long winter in the cupboard. I love experimenting with flavors but I was never expecting the challenge I received from my mom. A month or so ago I received an email from my Mom daring me to make an attached Bacon Ice Cream recipe. I'm never one to pass up a good challenge, and so my love affair with Bacon Ice Cream was born.
I have made this ice cream at least 8 times now in the last month. It has a perfect vanilla base that is smooth and creamy and then the hidden gems of candied bacon give a nice saltiness that somehow creates the magic of bacon ice cream. I can't explain how it works, I know it seems like it shouldn't, but it just does. I'm on a mission to convert the world and think it's working so far. Everyone that has tried it seems to like it and my kids go crazy for it.
If you're local, stop by anytime and I'll scoop you up a bowl. I'm sure there's some in the freezer. Otherwise, I dare you to make the recipe below. You know you want to.
Bacon Ice Cream
3 slices bacon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup chilled whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups chilled heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place 3 slices of bacon on a baking sheet covered with tinfoil or a silpat. Sprinkle each slice of bacon with brown sugar. Starting in a cool oven, cook at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Flip bacon and continue cooking, flipping every three minutes until bacon is crispy but not burned. Let cool and then chop into small pieces.
If using vanilla bean, scrape vanilla bean seeds and place pod and 1 cup whole milk into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and then remove from heat and let cool. Refrigerate until well chilled. Strain vanilla/milk mixture into medium bowl. Whisk in sugar for 1-2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream. If using vanilla extract, add to the mixture now (Don't do both the vanilla pod and extract though).
Place cream mixture into ice cream machine and cook according to manufacturers directions. Add the chopped bacon in the last 5 minutes of churning.
Place in a container and freeze for at least two hours.