And my husband LOVES bacon. My family was never really into the bacon thing. It never really got cooked to "yummy bacon stage" at our house. Frank's family, however, is a different story. His sister Kristy is a huge bacon lover as well. A few years ago on a canoe trip, Kristy decided to pair her bacon with a roasted homemade marshmallow (which, by the way, are amazing!!). It was a hit. I, however, didn't try it. Sunday morning bacon marshmallow was not appealing.
Maybe when I joined the family, my adventuresomeness (totally not a word but I think it's fun) with bacon seems to be taking off.
In order to celebrate Frank's birthday we had a "Say it with Bacon Birthday Bash" last night. We had some of the usual bacon snacks - one of his groomsmen made some killer jalapeno poppers. We had some bacon covered BBQ chicken and little smokies. Kristy and Lisa cooked up some bacon Rice Krispie treats (I wished there were bigger bacon pieces in there;). We have a tasted Sonic PB Bacon shake in the freezer.
The icing on the cake had to have been Ray's killer cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes with banana pudding filling topped with peanut butter icing, candied bacon bits and chocolate drippings. Not only were they amazing, they were beautiful too!! I would love to be the book/coffee shop to her bakery someday!!
And you can't have cake without ice cream, right?
I dreamed up a candied bacon ice cream. OK, I did dream about it. Then I woke up and searched Pinterest for recipes. My goodness there are so many bacon recipes out there!! Who'd a knew? I wanted to try a few of them but decided it'd be best to stay with one. The one that caught my eye was the Maple Bourbon Ice Cream with Candied Bacon from Girl Cooks World. Syrup, Bourbon AND Bacon? This was screaming my hubby! I took a look at the recipe. Then adapted the heck out of it. Kind of.
I took Kristy V's favorite Ice Cream recipe (it used 2 egg yolks instead of 5) and way less ingredients. I substituted the sugar in her recipe for maple syrup (the real kind - only way to go!). Apparently the sub for sugar to syrup is 1 cup for 3/4 cup so I for the 3/4 c sugar I used 1/3 c of syrup. Then mixed my custard in (without curdling ONE egg!), waited for it to cool a little and added 2 TBS of Bourbon. We let the whole mix cool and then that evening we froze it in our Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Attachment - quickly becoming one of my favorite gadgets!!
We candied the bacon two different ways. Way #1 - we set it out on a broiler pan, spread syrup, brown sugar and fresh cracked pepper on it and baked it. This took a long time, didn't get out a lot of the fat and after we thought it was done we turned it over and it needed MORE time - not what I was looking for on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of July. Way #2 - Frank chopped up the bacon into 1/4 inch squares, seasoned it with pepper and fried it in a pan. Then
The Bourbon Ice Cream with Candied Bacon? Amazing!! Frank wanted strawberries on it too. Then warned us all that the ice cream is a strawberry OR bacon ice cream but not both. THAT was too much ;) As if the syrup, bourbon and bacon could need any competition?
Our Version of Maple Bourbon Ice Cream with Candied BaconIce Cream
1/3 cup of real Maple Syrup
1 pint Half and Half
2 large egg yolks
1/8th tsp salt
2 TBS bourbon
Heat the syrup and half and half to simmering over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
In a heat proof bowl (I used a glass measuring cup) whisk the egg yolks.
Gradually add in about 1/2 c of the simmering liquid, whisking constantly.
Return egg mixture to the pot. Heat until steaming hot and frothy (about 3 minutes).
Strain into a bowl to get out any egg that may have scrambled.
Cool slightly before adding salt and bourbon (I don't know if this is essential but our ice cream didn't curdle!)
Cool in refrigerator for a few hours.
Freeze in your ice cream maker. Then stick your ice cream into the freezer to finish freezing (feel free to give your husband the mixer wand then laugh when he gets it all over his face and shirt!!)
Candied Bacon Way #2
(we used thick cut apple wood smoked bacon from Sam's - just pick your favorite)
1/2 lb. bacon
1-2 TBS of syrup
Generous sprinkling of brown sugar (I have no idea how much we used)
Fresh ground pepper
Cut bacon into small cubes, add to frying pan and season with pepper. When the bacon is cooked to your liking, drain the grease and blot bits with a paper towel. Add syrup and brown sugar and simmer for about 5 minutes.