01 June 2011

Candied Bacon Ice Cream

So, this one time, when I was 15 and Jordan was 11, we were standing outside in my grandma's driveway, and Jordan was bugging me.  So I cooly (at least it felt cool at the time, like everything when I was 15--rainbow nail polish, Calvin Klein t-shirts, and the crush on that one-eyed Jehovah's Witness) sauntered back to the house, saying, "Well, that's fine. I'm just gonna go get a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch."

After I took about six steps, Jordan realized what I knew already: that there was only enough Cinnamon Toast Crunch for one more bowl.

So he ran.

And so did I.

And we met at my grandma's storm door, wrestling away, fighting for the last bowl of tasty, delicious, brand-name cereal.

But here's the thing.  Jordan's big.  Like 6'5".  And I'm not slight by any means, but even at those ages he pretty much owned me physically*.  So we wrestled and fought.  I might have thrown a knee or accidentally bit him.  But he was winning.

And then my elbow went through the door.  Through it.  Like glass everywhere through it.

Mmm hmmm, we broke Grandma's door.  Shoot.

The cut I had was so deep that I probably should've had stitches, but we didn't roll that way in our family, so I got a bandage and some ice and I cried.  I cried partly because I had a cut on my elbow that was about 1/2" deep and it hurt like a sombitch.  But mostly I cried because, as I nursed my wounds, I looked over to see that jerk of a brother of mine sitting at the table, eating the last bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Now, 15 years later, I have sweet revenge, because I discovered David Lebovitz's (I bow to you, Mr. Lebovitz!) recipe for Candied Bacon Ice Cream.  And it's pretty much the greatest thing that's ever happened.  And it tastes like the breakfast that they would serve you on a farm in heaven.  Except better.  Because there's whiskey in it.

And bacon.

 Candied bacon that is basically like caramel corn bacon.

Every bite tastes like the best breakfast you've ever had.  Except that it's ice cream, so you can totally eat it whenever you want.  Does it get any better than that?  Nope.  I pretty much just want to make buckets of this ice cream and then run up and down the streets of Savannah sharing it with everyone.

Except for Jordan.  I kind of hold a grudge.

*Which is totally why I resorted to evil mind games.  I'm good at them.  Just ask Matt.  Or my students.

David Lebovitz's Candied Bacon Ice Cream

For the candied bacon;
5 strips bacon
about 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
For the ice cream custard:
3 tablespoons (45g) salted butter
¾ cup (packed) brown sugar (140g), light or dark (you can use either)
2¾ (675ml) cup half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons dark rum or whiskey
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. To candy the bacon, preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
2. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil, shiny side down.
3. Sprinkle 1½-2 teaspoons of brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon, depending on length.
4. Bake for 12-16 minutes. Midway during 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 as dark as mahogany. Remove from oven and cool the strips on a wire rack.
5. Once crisp and cool, chop into little pieces, about the size of grains of rice.
(Bacon bits can be stored in an airtight container and chilled for a day or so, or stored in the freezer a few weeks ahead.)
6. To make 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.
7. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the warm brown sugar mixture to them, whisking the yolks constantly as you pour. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
8. 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.
9. Strain the custard into the half-and-half, stirring over the ice bath, until cool. Add liquor, vanilla and cinnamon, if using.
10. Refrigerate the mixture. Once thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the bacon bits during the last moment of churning, or stir them in when you remove the ice cream from the machine.


  1. mmm, it's my birthday Friday, I think I know what I want! (after the Porterhouse steak, sweet potato fries, and bottle of wine I already bought.)

  2. Happy early birthday! Sounds like you've got a fancy dinner planned. Maybe gift yourself an ice cream maker, too!?!?

  3. Too bad this ice cream is sick. And by sick I mean F'ING DELICIOUS. And I don't even like ice cream...

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