Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Flavors of Fall: Brown Sugar, Bourbon, Bacon Ice Cream

Fall is here! And you know what that means, time for flavors that warm you up and make you feel all good inside. Which is "exacitily" why I made this ice cream, because what could make you feel better than brown sugar, bourbon and bacon? No seriously, I challenge you to come up with a better fall trio.

You might have noticed that although my flavors are very warm, my dessert is actually quite cold. But don't worry, I have a reason behind everything I do, or at least that's what I claim, and my reasoning behind this cold creamy treat is that it was 100 plus this week in LA! In fact, on Monday we hit a record high of 113! I couldn't let the heat spoil my plans to dive head first into fall. Thus, out of my spite for the weather, this ice cream was born. And to add insult to injury, I even served the ice cream alongside my Mom's famous pecan pie at my birthday party! I believe that's Fall-2, Lingering Unwelcome Heat-0.

Triple "B" Ice Cream
*adapted from David Lebovitz


For the candied bacon:

  • 5 strips bacon
  • 10 teaspoons light brown sugar
For the ice cream:
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 3/4 cups half-n-half
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 teaspoons bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Candy Bacon Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400

2. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with tin foil, shiny side down.

3. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of brown sugar over each bacon strip, rubbing it into ever strip.

4. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Halfway through baking, drag the bottom side of each strip through the dark goop on the foil then flip each strip over. Continue to bake until the bacon is a rich mahogany. Remove from the oven and cool the strips on a wire rack.

5. Once crisp and cool, chop the bacon into very small pieces. About the size of two grains of rice. Store in an airtight container. 

Ice Cream Directions

1. Pour half of the half-n-half into a large bowl with a mesh strainer set over the top, set aside. In a separate medium bowl, whisk all 5 egg yolks together, set aside. Prepare an ice bath in your sink or in a very large bowl, leave till later.

2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining half-n-half. Heat until scolding to the touch but not boiling.

3. SLOWLY pour the warmed brown sugar mixture into the bowl with the egg yolk, whisking FAST and CONSTANTLY as you pour. Then pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan.

4. Cook the mixture over low to moderate heat stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with the spatula as you stir. Cook until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of your spatula and when you run your finger across it, it does not run together. There is a fine line between cooking the eggs and turning them to custard,  better to air on the less thick side than cooked eggs.

5. Strain the custard into the bowl of half-n-half you set aside. Mix in the bourbon, vanilla and cinnamon. If the cinnamon clumps, you might need to use a whisk for a second to incorporate it well. Then set that bowl in the ice bath and stir with your spatula until the mixture reaches room temp.

6. Cover the bowl with plastic-wrap, leaving a slight opening. Refrigerate the mixture overnight or 8+ hours. 

7. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufactures instructions; stir in the bacon bits at the end, freeze and enjoy!

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