Pull out all the stops with this over-the-top decadent sweet and salty treat that combines boozy ice cream and addictive candied bacon. Brown sugar helps to give this ice cream a rich, caramel-like character that intensifies the bourbon flavor. If you really like bourbon, you can experiment with a slightly higher amount, but don’t add too much since the high alcohol content will inhibit the custard’s ability to firm into a scoopable consistency.
For the ice cream:
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) heavy cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) bourbon
For the bacon:
- 1 lb. (500 g) thick-sliced applewood-smoked bacon
- 1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1. In a saucepan, combine the milk and cream. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugars and salt until well blended.
2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until bubbles form around the edges and the sugar dissolves, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not allow to come to a boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolk mixture while slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture. When almost all of the hot liquid has been added, slowly pour the warmed yolk mixture back into the saucepan, still whisking. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not boil.
3. Pour the hot custard through a sieve into a clean bowl, gently pressing the liquid through the sieve and leaving any grainy solids in the sieve.
4. Place the bowl with the custard over an ice bath and let cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard and on top of the bowl. Refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours.
5. Meanwhile, make the candied bacon: Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
6. Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the bacon.
7. Place the baking sheet on the upper rack and bake for 25 minutes. Move the baking sheet to the lower rack and rotate it 180 degrees. Continue to bake the bacon until it is dark brown but not yet crisp, 10 to 15 minutes.
8. Using tongs, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain briefly, then place the slices on a plate in a single layer and let cool completely. Chop the bacon into small pieces before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
9. Prepare an ice cream maker with at least a 1-qt (1-l) capacity according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remove the plastic wrap from the custard and bowl and stir in the bourbon. Pour into the ice cream maker and churn until the custard reaches the consistency of thick whipped cream. Transfer to a plastic freezer container, cover tightly, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
10. To serve, scoop the ice cream into individual bowls and sprinkle with the bacon. Serve immediately. Makes about 1 quart ice cream.
For more than 60 recipes and ideas for scoops, shakes, slushes, sundaes, sandwiches and special-occasion treats check out our cookbook Frozen Desserts.