Maple Bacon Bourbon Ice Cream

Does anything get better than bacon? It does if it's maple, brown sugar and a wee bit of bourbon! An offbeat ice cream that is salty and sweet and prove that everything really is better with bacon. 
Maple Bacon Bourbon Ice Cream recipe from

This post needs some clarification for a woman in Arizona, who undoubtedly is sitting in her office, pictures of relatives lining her walls, and a disgruntled looking plant next to her computer, reading this post in between co-workers questions and internally screaming: WHY IS MY DAUGHTER COOKING WITH BOURBON?!

I don't drink. My mother does not drink. So without a doubt she'll most likely be condemning me on some level for cooking with bourbon or at the very least for being a bad example, but, as an American I'd like to claim the "innocent until proven guilty" clause that I have a claim to by birth. I cooked with bourbon, guilty, if i had cooked with vanilla that would be fine right? Allow me to present two facts: 

  1. Pure Vanilla Extract is made with alcohol, usually vodka. Mine (and my mother's) is 65% alcohol, aka 130 proof.  
  2. My bourbon is liquor BUT only 50% alcohol (100 proof). 

Yes, that's right, two teaspoons of bourbon has LESS alcohol than two teaspoons of vanilla! Therefore, my guilt should be correspondingly less! Which leaves me in the realm of negative guilt. Aaaaah, negative guilt. I believe I can eat at least four pieces of chocolate before I break even on the guilt spectrum. **

Where I most likely should be feeling guilt, is about eating this for breakfast, but my rational mind is telling me that bacon, milk, eggs, and maple syrup are all accepted parts of breakfast, therefore no guilt. Denial is my new best friend. :) 

Enjoy! And for those of you who embrace your bourbon, just don't go over a tablespoon. Alcohol doesn't freeze, so you'll end up with a bacon maple bourbon shake instead......which doesn't sounds like a bad thing. For you. Not me. (Hi Mom! Bye Mom!) 


Bacon Maple Bourbon Ice Cream

5 strips bacon
about 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cups brown sugar
3 cups half and half
1 1/3 cup grade A pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons bourbon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Scald one cup of half and half over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Remove from heat. 

In a stand mixer whisk together the yolks and brown sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually pour the scalded half and half down the side of the bowl as the mixer is still going. 

Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan(Add bourbon now if you want to cook off the alcohol), stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture has thickened and will coat the back of the spoon . Remove from heat, and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Add in the remaining half and half, maple, bourbon (if you don’t want to cook off the alcohol), and vanilla. Chill the custard thoroughly. About two hours. 

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil. Sprinkle 1½-2 teaspoons of brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon. Bake for 12-16 minutes, flipping half way, and sprinkling with a bit more sugar. Cool on a wire rack, and once cooled, chop or cut into small pieces.

Transfer the custard mixture to an ice cream maker. Allow the ice cream to churn until finished, adding bacon at the last minute and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

**I know that for some people this rationale does not work. Devout members of many world religions do not cook with alcohol or vanilla that contains alcohol. You can't even buy vanilla extract in the UAE for example. Should you find that you are just now realizing that you consider your vanilla extract to be improper, may I recommend cooking with vanilla sugar or vanilla beans (no alcohol, full flavor). Please avoid imitation extract if you can. Imitation vanilla is cheap, fake and produces food of a similar quality.