Recipe: Brown Butter & Candied Bacon Ice Cream

Bacon is really happening right now. It's in everything from cupcakes to alcoholic drinks. I decided to put it in ice cream. The crunchy salty bacon perfectly balances the creamy sweetness of ice cream. I also decided to add brown butter, because if there's anything better than bacon, it's butter. Brown butter has a more complex and rich flavor than regular butter.

As always, I refer you to my posts for Vanilla Ice Cream and Strawberry Ice Cream for information about why I use raw ingredients or how you can use pasteurized ones. In this recipe, we have to cook some of the ingredients into a custard to get the recipe to work, but I still kept some of the ingredients raw in order to get their amazing raw benefits.

As with all ingredients, I always recommend organic/grass-fed/pastured if you can. I use organic bacon from Applegate Farms because I can't find any local bacon that doesn't use propylene glycol. In this recipe, I also used a fresh vanilla bean, but if you don't have any on hand, feel free to substitute ½ to 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

4 slices bacon
2 TBS. + ½ c. unrefined sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean
¼ c. butter
4 egg yolks, divided
1 ½ c. whole, raw milk, divided
½ c. raw cream
¼ tsp. cinnamon, optional

To make the candied bacon, lay 4 slices of bacon on a baking sheet. I recommend lining the baking sheet with a Silpat to make clean-up easier; it will get gooey and sticky. Sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar over the bacon and rub it in with your fingers.

Bake the bacon in a preheated 400° F oven for 14 to 16 minutes, flipping halfway through. It should be mostly crisp. Set aside to cool.

To make the brown butter, put the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. If using a vanilla bean, split it down the center and add it to the pot.

Whisk, whisk, whisk the butter until it quite literally turns brown. The constant whisking is important, otherwise the milk fat solids will separate and you will make ghee.

Now the brown butter must be made into a custard. If we left it as it is, it would cool back into butter, and there would be chunks of butter in our ice cream. Add half of the milk and the remaining half-cup of sugar to the saucepan and continue to whisk frequently, just until it warms. In a small bowl, whisk together two egg yolks. Temper the egg yolks by adding a tiny bit of the warm milk mixture a little at a time, while continuing to whisk. Pour all of the liquid back into the saucepan and let it cook, all the while whisking away. In just a couple of minutes, it will thicken into a pudding consistency. When this happens, remove from heat.

Strain the custard over a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl. This will remove the vanilla bean and any pieces of scrambled egg that may have formed during cooking. It happens to the best of us.

Don't throw away that vanilla bean! Wash it, put it in a container in the freezer, and save to dehydrate and turn into vanilla bean powder.

Put the custard in the refrigerator and let it cool for about 3 hours.

Once it has chilled, put the custard in a blender with the remaining milk and egg yolks, the cream, cinnamon, and vanilla extract if using. Blend.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze as directed. Chop the candied bacon into small pieces and add them the last 5 minutes of churning.

Put the finished ice cream in an ice cream tub and store in the freezer.

This ice cream is amazing just as it is, but to really take it up a notch, put some between homemade cookies. It is out of this world sandwiched between two Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

My husband loved this! I hope you do, too.

Printable: Brown Butter & Candied Bacon Ice Cream

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