It wouldn’t be summer without ice cream, and it wouldn’t be Comfort du Jour without some unexpected flavor twists. One of the biggest reasons I love my ice cream machine is that I can choose my own flavors rather than relying on the same old varieties you find everywhere else. Using my easy formula for custard ice cream base, I’ve whipped two of my all-time favorite flavors into one frosty treat.
I’ve swapped out sugar in favor of maple syrup, and paired it with the delicious, smoky flavor of real bacon! These two flavors are like an old married couple, finishing each other’s sentences and picking up each other’s slack. When the maple syrup starts to feel too sweet, here comes the salty, savory bacon to keep it in check. And because we get a little crazy at our house about the sweet-salty combination of maple and bacon, I’ve garnished the ice cream with additional bacon, glazed with maple syrup. I’ll share that, too.
It’s National Ice Cream Day, smack in the middle of National Ice Cream Month, and I am on it!
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup maple sugar* (see notes)
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup dark maple syrup
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 thin slices uncured maple bacon, cooked until crispy, then broken into bits*
1 Tbsp. bourbon (optional but recommended for improved texture)
My maple sugar is sourced from the same place I order my syrup, Big Tree Maple in Lakewood, N.Y., which is just up the road from where I grew up. Maple sugar is not as easy to find in local stores as maple syrup, but you will be happy to know that Big Tree offers shipping on its products. You could also substitute with caster sugar (sometimes called “superfine” sugar) or simply increase the maple syrup to a total of 3/4 cup.
All 4 pieces of bacon are intended for mixing into the ice cream. Cook a few extra slices of bacon if you want to make the maple-glazed candied bacon garnish. And, trust me, you want to! 😉
- In a stand mixer or bowl with hand mixer, whip egg yolks until they get frothy and increase in volume. Gradually add maple sugar, whipping constantly and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Heat milk and cream until hot and steaming but not boiling. Reduce the heat to very low (or turn it off) at this point, so that the milk mixture doesn’t curdle. Measure out about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture. Stream it slowly into the egg yolk mixture while running the mixer. Use a lower speed on the mixer to avoid whipping too much air into the cream mixture.
- Transfer the tempered yolk mixture back to the saucepan with the remaining milk-cream mixture and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard is smooth and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in kosher salt until dissolved.
- Whisk in maple syrup, stirring thoroughly to combine. Lay plastic film directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent condensation. Cover the bowl with additional film or lid and refrigerate several hours to overnight.
Time to freeze the ice cream!
- Before freezing, remove plastic film and stir mixture to reincorporate any ingredients that may have settled to the bottom. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- In the last few minutes of churning, add bacon crumbles to the ice cream.
- Mix in a tablespoon of bourbon in the final minute. The alcohol will just barely flavor the ice cream, but the real benefit will be improved texture for scooping directly from the freezer.
Bonus recipe – Candied Maple Bacon
2 to 3 thin strips uncured maple bacon
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
Cook bacon in the 350°F oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When bacon is crisp, transfer to a paper towel and replace parchment paper. Lightly brush maple syrup onto each side of the bacon slices, and return it to the oven for a few minutes. Repeat two or three more times, until syrup is hardened and bacon looks like candy. Cool completely and wrap loosely in foil or parchment. Garnish ice cream portions with a piece of the bacon.
You may be wondering if I’m a paid endorser for the brands and products I spotlight on Comfort du Jour, and the answer is “no.” I do not receive money or merchandise for my recommendations, and what that means for you is that you can count on me to give an honest opinion. If something changes, I will update my disclosures. Either way, you can still count on me to be honest in my recommendations, as I will only stand behind services and products I believe in. Fair enough? 😀Terrie