Candied Bacon Ice Cream Recipe

Bacon Ice Cream

Who doesn’t like bacon and eggs?

Ok, maybe vegans. And folks who are kosher. And people who don’t eat eggs. Or those who don’t like bacon. But I’m not sure that’s possible. (I have a great bacon joke, but it’s not ‘pc’, so I’d better keep it to myself.)

I’m a big fan of both bacon and the beautiful, bright-orange yolked eggs we get in France, so why confine them to breakfast? I was pretty sure Candied Bacon Ice Cream would work. I mean, it’s got salt. It’s got smoke. So why not candy it? Inspired by Michael Ruhlman, l wanted to see what would happened when they all got together.

Candied Bacon

Candying the bacon was a hoot. Being in an experimental mood, I tried everything from agave nectar to maple syrup to dark raw cassonade sugar.


I lined up five strips and baked them off.

prebaked bacon

Surprisingly, the best results I had was using regular light brown sugar. The agave nectar I painted on, as well as the maple syrup—which I had impossibly-hopeful hopes for—just slid right off. I suppose I could’ve reduced maple syrup to a thick glaze before brushing it on, but I’m down to the last quarter of the bottle I brought back from the Greenmarket in New York.

And as much as I love you all, I don’t love you more than maple syrup.

postbaked bacon

Still, for flavor and crisp-itude, the light brown sugar won hands-down and baked to a firm, shiny-sweet glaze. Of course, individual ovens vary and although I asked my charcutier to cut my bacon on the moderately-thick side (around ¼-inch or ½ centimeter)—if yours is thinner or thicker, keep an eye on it in the oven. American bacon tends to throw off lots of fat, so you might want to bake it on a rack.

(Someone came over to write a story about my kitchen last week and was a bit surprised I didn’t have a microwave. Unfortunately it came down to a space-issue an the monster espresso machine won out. So I candied my bacon the old-fashioned way.)

As I was scooping the ice cream out of the machine and tossing in the bits of candied bacon, getting ready to lick the spatula (hey, pipe down…no one was looking…) I had a last-minute thought that dusting of ground cinnamon would be nice, so I added it. I tend to be pretty restrained when using cinnamon around here since if I offer a taste of something with more than a very light dusting of it to French friends, they have a hard time getting past the cinnamon and I can’t get an accurate evaluation from them.

They do like cinnamon, just not in the vast quantities we American like to shovel in. So I wanted it to be subtle and not off-putting, but present. Aren’t I good at pleasing everyone? Très ‘pc’.

My final test was when I brought a small container of this to my butcher to see what he thought. I didn’t tell him what it was and he took a bite. I waited. He tasted. The priceless look on his face!

Then I breathed a sigh of relief when he polished it off and gave it the thumbs up.

But then again, he’s a little biased.

bacon ice cream2

Bacon Ice Cream
About ¾ qt (¾l)

Like my butcher, I loved the salty taste of bacon with brown sugar, but I’m also going to be folding bits of candy bacon into Coffee Ice Cream in the future. Or maybe get really crazy and try little bits in a batch of Avocado Ice Cream.

If you don’t have half-and-half, simply mix together heavy cream and whole milk in equal proportions. I’m not sure about dairy alternatives, but since this doesn’t fall into the vegan category, I think this time I’m off the hook. ; )

For the candied bacon;
5 strips bacon
about 2 teaspoons light brown sugar

For the ice cream custard:

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) salted butter
  • ¾ cup (packed) brown sugar (140g), light or dark (you can use either)
  • 2¾ (675ml) cup half-and-half
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum or whiskey
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional: ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. To candy the bacon, preheat the oven to 400F (200C).

2. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil, shiny side down.

3. Sprinkle 1½-2 teaspoons of brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon, depending on length.

4. Bake for 12-16 minutes. Midway during baking, flip the bacon strips over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet. Continue to bake until as dark as mahogany. Remove from oven and cool the strips on a wire rack.

5. Once crisp and cool, chop into little pieces, about the size of grains of rice.

(Bacon bits can be stored in an airtight container and chilled for a day or so, or stored in the freezer a few weeks ahead.)

6. To make the ice cream custard, melt the butter in a heavy, medium-size saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and half of the half-and-half. Pour the remaining half-and-half into a bowl set in an ice bath and set a mesh strainer over the top.

7. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the warm brown sugar mixture to them, whisking the yolks constantly as you pour. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

8. Cook over low to moderate heat, constantly stirring and scraping the bottom with a heatproof spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

9. Strain the custard into the half-and-half, stirring over the ice bath, until cool. Add liquor, vanilla and cinnamon, if using.

10. Refrigerate the mixture. Once thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the bacon bits during the last moment of churning, or stir them in when you remove the ice cream from the machine.

perfectscoop.jpg

Related Posts:

Meet Your Maker

Making Ice Cream Without A Machine

More Bacon Bits:

Put your money where your bacon is

Homemade bacon vodka

Your daily bacon

Bacon for boo-boos

Pig candy

Bacon baklava

Bacon toffee

Does everything taste better with bacon?

Maple Bacon cupcakes

Bacon unwrapped

Makin’ bacon

Even vegetarians like bacon

Spray-on bacon



162 comments

  • chimp: I don’t know who invented bacon ice cream for a fact, but I did point out where the inspiration was from for this particular recipe. I did see Mr. Blumenthal’s (or his pastry chef’s) technique online afterward, and the recipe and technique are vastly different than mine–although very interesting, as he makes almost a scrambled crème anglaise, then somehow churns it up in an unseen machine, which may be a Pacojet. (I’ve already commented on that in an earlier comment, above.) I didn’t see where he made a brown sugar-butter custard and candied any bacon, though.

    Many dishes go through permutations, such as the warm individual chocolate cakes, and I know at least 4 different people who claim to have invented it. Similar to those chocolate cakes, flavors of ice cream eventually become part of our culinary vocabulary, like chocolate chip cookies, which were invented by Ruth Wakefield, but since her discovery, people have taken them off in many delicious directions.

    If I’d used or even adapted his recipe here, I certainly would have happily credited him (or his pastry chef, who may be the real source for it, in which case, shouldn’t he get credit?) and included a link, as I do in any recipe presented on the site that isn’t mine.

    Folks can watch the video of his pastry chef making the recipe here.

  • I’m a pastry chef, residing in California, and everyone looks like me like I’ve got three heads when I say I’m not a fan of cinnamon. At least not in the amounts used in American pastries! Thank you for confirming that I’m not completely insane and also that we use too much cinnamon in everything.

    On that note, this ice cream looks so awesome.

  • I made this ice cream and brought it to a brunch. We put it on waffles. It’s really one of the best ice creams I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to make it again.

  • heylo!

    my boyfriend loves strange bacon things and i would really love to make him a batch of this bacon icecream!
    This could sound like a stupid question, but what is half-and-half?
    it says “2¾ (675ml) cup half-and-half” ??

    If anyone could email me and let me know that would be awsome…

    Thank you indeed.

    Al

  • I’m down for 10 gallons.

  • Mr. Lebovitz:

    YOU ARE A GOD. I WORSHIP AT YOUR FEET.

  • I LOVE YOU! Bacon/brown sugar/ not lovin’ cinnamon as an addition to EVERY DESSERT! If I wasn’t married already, I’d be stalking you in the city of lights!

  • Just found this particular post; think I might just pass, thank you – us Brits tend to prefer slightly different savoury/sweet combinations to you Americans. But the reason why I clicked through to comment was I’ve just seen this featured on this page of this site.

  • Hi Mrs. Redboots: Actually, Heston Blumenthal of England’s Fat Duck restaurant is famous for his version of Bacon Ice Cream. (There’s a link to the video of his pastry chef making it, up above.)

    So am not sure it’s just an American thing : )

  • Why not try the ice-cream with BaconSalt? It’s a spice blend by Justin & Dave’s foods in Seattle that “makes everything taste like Bacon”. Justin’s Father-In-Law came up with the idea of adding it to ice-cream and I’ve tried it -very nice if the BaconSalt is added SUBTLY!

    And have you heard about “Mo’s Bacon Bar”, from Vosges Chocolate in USA? Selfridges in London hit the national press when they imported some and sold out in 2 days! But it’s expensive – especially over here in UK. at around five pounds for a 4 oz-bar. Amanda came up with a simple recipe to make it with BaconSalt and milk chocolate bars from ASDA (supermarket) – just melt the chocolate and add BaconSalt.

    “Bacon without the cooking mess”!

  • Oh my goodness. I didn’t think it sounded that good until I started reading! This sounds great. I’d love to give it a shot.

    Thanks.

  • The ice cream attachment for my kitchenaid just arrive and I think this will be its first batch. I’d also love to hear the not pc bacon joke!

  • STROKE OF BRILLIANCE!

    Thank you for this recipe. I used it as a base for my own bacon ice cream:

    http://tr.im/baconicecream

  • Have you ever seen maple sugar in granules? Used that on some yummy creme brulee.

  • I made this the other night for a bacon-themed game night. It was a hit! Thanks for this great recipe.

  • Thank you for this recipe. It’s become my standard bring for dinner parties & hostess gifts. I, uh, accidentally brought it to a Shabbat dinner this past Friday.
    http://pageslap.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/candied-bacon/

  • Sounds good, but I was thinking about the addition of bacon grease to flavor the ice cream instead of the cin. THoughts?

  • if the bacon can’t be candied with the maple sirop could you use uncandied bacon and add maple sirop to the ice cream when you add the bacon? or just coat the cooked bacon with the sirop and dry in a slow oven?

  • I live in a house of vegetarians – painful. But am relocating shortly! Yay!
    This recipe is giving me cravings for candied bacon :P

  • Just made this.

    Amazing. Just Amazing. I over candied the bacon (read: burnt) but the pieces I was able to save just are amazing in the ice cream. Loved the mix as well, even without the bacon.

    Thanks!!!

    Amazing!

  • Thank you for this recipe! I’ve made it several times now and it makes for a great party trick — “Bacon ice cream????” they all ask. There are generally a few “ewwwws.” And then, for the most part, it gets devoured.

  • hi david! it is i, aarti, your good bite buddy! i made this candied bacon ice-cream this weekend, but added some chocolate too. i don’t think it came out as well as yours did, probably because your bacon is much better than mine. :(

    but if you’re interested in seeing how it turned out, i blogged it here!

    http://aartilla.blogspot.com/2009/07/chocolate-bacon-ice-cream.html

  • oh…i love bacon too…i created this…my first rodeo…already thinking of ways to improve it…it took a long long time to create…it was delicious, though

  • BRAVO! Another food enthusiast I work with sent me this. I thought it was a joke, but you have proven me wrong.

  • Absolutely amazing recipe. I made this with my brand new ice cream maker as my first ever batch, and my whole household loves it. I love the look you get when you tell people its bacon ice cream, even as they are devouring it. The base is very sweet, creamy, and delicious by itself, the bacon is more of a hint and aftertaste as you finish the bite. Subtle, yet brilliant. I added a bit of nutmeg for my own twist.

  • Absolutely amazing recipe. I made this with my brand new ice cream maker as my first ever batch, and my whole household loves it. I love the look you get when you tell people its bacon ice cream, even as they are devouring it. The base is very sweet, creamy, and delicious by itself, the bacon is more of a hint and aftertaste as you finish the bite. Subtle, yet brilliant. I added a bit of nutmeg for my own twist.

  • I had wanted to make this for a year but put it off. I have made it twice now, WOW!!! Even the haters loved it. It’s better the next day or so after it has had time to sit, the candied bacon it incredibly good in it. This will be a recipe I will make for many years to come.
    Jeri

  • This ice cream is just to die for good. To everyone who read this recipe and said “ew!”, I’m telling you, it doesn’t taste like you think it does. The bacon does just what is promised. It turns crisp and sweet and adds a salty/smoky touch and it’s not at all like eating a slab of bacon. I did increase the cinnamon content of my ice cream (I’m an American philistine. What do you want from me?) and the total combination is just superlative.

    David – you have my complete trust when it comes to my taste buds. Every recipe of yours that I’ve tried has been delightful.

  • I know I’m a bit late, but I just wanted to let you know that your ice cream inspired me to make my own variant of bacon ice cream. I had read your post months ago, but finally went out and got myself an ice cream machine.

    I used a maple smoked bacon and candied as you did, but instead of cinnamon flavored ice cream, I made a maple flavored ice cream to compliment the maple bacon. After a few batches and some tweaking (cutting back a little on the maple, because it was beginning to over-power the bacon), I ended up with some delicious ice cream.

    I’m toying with the idea of adding in some pieces of home-made waffle to create the ultimate breakfast ice cream. I’ll post back if it turns out as good as I hope it will.

    Thanks for the inspiration,

    Adam

  • I have made this recipe several times since I first discovered it here, and I haven’t yet commented, but it’s absolutely wonderful. I would like to second the using of maple-flavoring instead of vanilla (or in addition to vanilla, half-n-half). It completes the feel of breakfast in a way, and I think adds to the experience.

  • this thing sounds at bit odd, but it was absolutely sensational. i skipped the cinnamon though. maybe that makes me a little bit french?
    but exactly what is half-and-half? I used one part cream and one part milk. and then added some spanish brandy for the sake of it.

  • I made it last night for a dinner party. My husband is in a pork phase, and I finally bought the Cuisinart machine, so it was the perfect recipe for us last night. The electric oven I use made the custard heating a thirty-minute process (I was too afraid to jack the heat up too much and curdle it), but the result didn’t even need to be strained, so I was pretty happy with it.

    Perhaps the strangest moment was taking the bacon out of the oven because of the scandalous amount of fat in it. We use a great regional brand known for high quality (and price), but it was still so fatty that my Silpat was practically swimming! I was horrified (oh, the mess!), and yet, that amazing mat cleaned up easily. I probably should have saved all that fat, but I was worried about how I would use sugary bacon fat…although now I’m thinking I could’ve put it in pie crust or a savory tart crust.

    We ate about a third of the candied bacon straight out of the oven, but luckily I had already increased the recipe to account for that possibility! It’s a revelation. And the ice cream that resulted was lovely; the brown sugar is so genius. I’m going straight to Amazon for The Perfect Scoop .

  • mmMMmmMM candied bacon ice cream. i don’t know about coffee flavor ice cream and candied bacon ice cream. have you tried regular vanilla ice cream?

  • There is a little ice cream shop in Seattle which makes bacon/blue cheese ice cream. I am personally going to make a maple/bacon ice cream next week. I have been talking about it for months. I may as well dig in and do it.

  • I made your bacon ice cream last night, and it was incredible. Thanks for the recipe – I’m directing all of my friends to your site.

  • After getting rave reviews from all my friends about the bacon ice cream, I immediately bought your book. It arrived yesterday, and a batch of peanut butter ice cream is churning as I type. I’ve already snuck a taste, and it’s incredible. I wasn’t expecting something so good from such a simple recipe. I don’t know if you actually read all of these comments, but I’m officially a huge fan of your recipes and am excited to try them all.

  • I made the bacon ice cream yesterday and took it to a Super Bowl party. What a conversation piece! It was delicious. The ice cream came out so smooth and the hits of salty meat, cut the very sweet ice cream perfectly. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  • My friend once made this, but used half milk and half of the bacon grease.
    C’est tres bonne!!!!

    He also used brown sugar and it was the best ice cream I’d even had… until I discovered it was bacon ice cream XD

    I wish i lived in France :P
    my dream is to go to France!!!!

  • David, this is genius. I am a newbie to ice cream making, what a way to start! Pure bliss.

  • I want to try it. i love bacon so much!!!!!
    From Chloe

  • The base for this ice cream is incredible! I used Prather Ranch bacon and the ice cream would have been perfect on its own.
    I believe I used too much bacon (i actually cut the amount to 4 slices) and the bits did not maintain a crunchy texture. Instead they are gummy, which I believe is due to the higher fat content.
    Regardless, David, your recipes continue to inspire and excite me and I always enjoy, no matter what the results, the ice cream, your recipes produce!

  • I just made this. It’s marvelous.

  • At what point do you add the whiskey/rum? I don’t see it in the recipe

  • You add it in step #9, where it says to add the liquor, along with the vanilla extract. Happy churning!

  • i’d love to try this recipe, but where do you find bacon in paris? the only place i’ve ever seen bacon is an outrageously expensive container of already-cooked bacon at the daily monop. the french are not known for their bacon-eating (maybe the only pork product which they don’t eat). merci d’avance!

  • Most charcuteries sell poitrine fumé, or smoked belly bacon, which they hand-cut. You can get thin, American-style bacon at Franprix.

  • This just sounds freaking great and i definitely will try it but, is there something i can substitute for the rum/whiskey? I know its not very much but i quit drinking and if i bought even a small bottle just for the ice cream it would be too much temptation to drink the rest.

  • You could leave it out, and just dial up the vanilla a little to compensate for the taste of the liquor.

  • I made this as a birthday gift for a coworker. OMG. I had no idea it would be so unbelievably good. Love isn’t’ a strong enough word for how I feel about it… and I only had one tiny miniscule bite!

    The reason I only had the one spoonful is that I’m attempting to loose weight. I’ve made “ice creams” for myself with non-fat milk (no creams or half-and-half) and no egg yolks, but the results are sad in comparison. Splenda usually works well as a sweetener for the recipes requiring sugar, but I doubt if it will candy the bacon as well as light brown sugar… oh well, I’ll still try. However, my question: do you know of any low calorie creams or other substitutes that I could use to make my ice cream friendlier to my waistline yet still creamy?

    It really wasn’t a high priority before, but after tasting this recipe I need to figure out how I can continue to making this magnificent taste sensation for me!

  • this sounded delicious from the beginning. so good that i read it last nite and made some this morning! i am amazed. my first batch was sooo good that i didnt think it could get any better, but then i made more this afternoon and i was pretty sure i burnt the bacon. it was a little black on the edges and smelled somewhat overdone, but it wasnt different in taste. after i layed it on the counter and it cooled for a minute or so, i cut it up and when i put the knife down on it, it shattered!!! literally shattered and some fell on the floor -my dog enjoyed that :) and when you bit it it fell apart in your mouth. i want to drool just thinking about it. many thanks for the recipe

    ps: for anyone who doesnt have enough time to make the icecream or dont have an icecream machine,you can use store bought vanilla icecream, thats what i did due to lack of time and it turned out incredible!

  • Hi David;

    I just have to say that I just started reading your blog recently when my boyfriend bought me an ice cream machine for my birthday. I have tried so many flavors that I just absolutely love (thank you for making the formulas public!). I went to Johnson and Wales and now I am a baker at Seven Stars Bakery in RI we specialize in Artisan Breads I do mostly bread mixing and some pastry mixing/baking. So anyways I am trying to get to a point where I can formulate my own ice cream! So my question is why use half and half in this bacon ice cream? (Which I made last night and am in LOVE with so is my boyfriend) I ended up having to use 2 cups half and half and 3/4 c. 1% (because of my poor planning) and the ice cream is just not as creamy as I would like. Would using all heavy cream make it much creamier? Or is there a specific reason to use the half & half? Would I need to decrease the amount of egg yolks because of the added fat?

    Thanks
    Sarah

  • I’ve tried this recipe yesterday, and I have to say it’s not to my taste…The base for the ice cream is fantastic, but the bacon isn’t for me.

    If you still want to try it, I definitely suggest using only 1 or 2 slices. I used the 5 slices listed but ended up using only 3 because it seemed like a bit too much bacon. It turned out to be too much bacon even using that quantity!

  • I was thinking of making a candied bacon ice cream, and the recipe I was thinking of was almost exactly the same as this one! I also thought it would be good with coffee ice cream too :) I will be trying this out soon.

  • Hi David, I forgot to mention in my previous comment, that a little nutmeg possibly be a delightful addition.

  • I made this for my birthday and loved it!! Thanks!

  • Love the surprise of this, the incredible flavor of the base…tasting it in every phase as the ice cream maker churns. Follow two intensely meaty dinners with this as the surprise dessert….turns out you can never have enough bacon.

    Thank you for the recipe — great stuff.

  • Could you make an ex-alcoholic friendly version? I don’t see what’s the point of the rum and how much vanilla beans or something would up put in the extract’s stead?

  • Wolf: You could skip the alcohol. What is does is provide flavor, as well as keeps the texture softer. You can read more about that at my post Tips for Keeping Homemade Ice Cream Softer. Alcohol, which is also present in vanilla extract, also changes the way this taste. But you can indeed use vanilla bean if you wish.

    Readers are always welcome to modify recipes to suit their individual needs. For more information on substituting ingredients in my recipes, you can check out Baking Ingredients and Substitutions.

  • Hi David,

    Had written a comment, but cant find it on the post anymore. Just wanted to know, the instruction manual for ICE 50 BCU, says churn for 30 mins for soft set ice cream, but you usually say churn it till the machine stops automatically. Should I be doing that as well? What is the difference?

    thanks a lot!!

    Some machines have an auto-stop feature, and others don’t. I recommend following the instructions that came with your machine. If you have particular questions about it, it’s best to contact the manufacturer. -dl

  • thanks!!

  • This ice cream recipe is amazing… I am so going to try this next week. Great pictures also.