Game of Thrones is finally back! I’m so excited! As I’ve mentioned before, Srini and I love Game of Thrones. We religiously watch every episode and once the season ends, we endure the excruciating wait until the next season rolls around. Last season, we made an ice cream to celebrate the season finale and this season we decided to make one to celebrate the premier. Of course, this is a bit belated, just like our premiere watching! So I beg you not to tell me any spoilers. We will be watching it tomorrow with friends! Srini and I brainstormed through a bunch of Game of Thrones themed flavors and after much debate, came up with this flavor. We had a lot of different ideas and flavors to choose from, but the siren call of smoked pork with sugar won out. Srini came up with the name, and cleverly was able to pun two different themes! Melissandre is the priestess for the Lord of Light, hence Car-Melissandre and the Lard of Light: Carmelized bacon swirled into a bacon-y custard base.
This ice cream has a LOT of bacon in it. The bacon is steeped in simmering milk with sugar. I cooked it for a little longer than I would normally heat the milk for because bacon is a raw meat, after all, and I wanted to ensure it was fully cooked. Once I felt like the bacon was fully cooked, I let it steep for some time longer. Then, it’s whisked into egg yolks and returned the pan and made into a custard. That custard is then added to cold cream with a bit of vanilla to round out the flavor. The caramelized bacon is simply thick cut bacon tossed with maple and brown sugar and cooked in the oven until the fat renders and creates a brittle of sorts. Because a lot of fat renders out, the caramelized bacon should be carefully drained and then drained on a wire rack once it is semi set up. After that, break the brittle up and fold into the ice cream. I’ve talked about my love for my ice cream maker before, and one of my favorite features is that it dings when it’s ready to accept mix-ins. If your maker doesn’t have this feature, just fold in the caramelized bacon at the end. Then let it freeze for a while, and serve, ideally while watching Game of Thrones!
CarMelisandre and the Lard of Light Ice Cream ~ Bacon Ice Cream with Maple-Brown Sugar Caramelized Bacon
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: about 1 qt ice cream||Total:|
Celebrate the Season Premier of Game of Thrones with an ice cream inspired by Melisandre and her devotion to the Lord of Light!
- For the Ice Cream:
- 3 strips thick cut bacon, cut into a few large pieces (see note)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the Maple Brown Sugar Caramelized Bacon:
- 5 strips thick cut bacon, cut into 1 inch squares (see note)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- For the Bacon Ice Cream:
- Place the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and stir. Bring the milk to a simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes until some fat separates from the bacon. Cover and let sit for an additional 15 minutes.
- Heat up again until the bacon steeped milk is warm and steamy. Whisk the egg yolks together in a large, heat proof bowl. Carefully pour in 1 ladle of bacon steeped milk into the egg yolks, being careful not to pour in any chunks of bacon, whisking the whole time. Repeat a few times, until the egg yolks are heated.
- Place a strainer over the heated egg yolks and pour the rest of the bacon steeped milk onto the egg yolks, pressing on the bacon to extract as much milk as possible. Whisk together well.
- Pour the egg yolk-milk mixture back into a saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir continuously with a spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir. Stir until the mix thickens and coats the back of your spatula. A good way to test for this is to run your finger across the spatula and ensure that the line left by your finger holds well.
- When the custard has thickened, pour the heavy whipping cream into another bowl and add the teaspoon of vanilla. Place a fine mesh strainer over the cream and pour the custard over the heavy cream. You use the fine mesh strainer to catch any egg particles that may have accidentally overcooked. Chill this mixture thoroughly, either using an ice bath or leave in the refrigerator overnight. The goal temperature is less than 40F. Make the caramelized bacon while the custard base is chilling or if you do an ice bath, make the caramelized bacon before starting to make the custard so it is no longer warm when you fold it into the ice cream.
- When the ice cream base is sufficiently cool, freeze the ice cream base according to the instructions on your ice cream maker. This is the ice cream maker I use. Pack into freezer proof containers and sprinkle the caramelized bacon throughout evenly. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of your ice cream to prevent freezer burn, cover, and place in freezer for at least 4 hours prior to serving.
- Make the caramelized bacon:
- Preheat oven to 375F. Combine the chopped bacon, maple, and brown sugar in a bowl. Place in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place into the oven and cook until well caramelized, about 20 minutes, rotating periodically.
- Once fully cooked, drain off the bacon fat. Allow to cool until the caramel stiffen up. Place on a wire rack over a paper towel lined plate to allow the fat to drain further. Cool fully before stirring into the ice cream.
Save a little bit of caramelized bacon to sprinkle on top or snack on! It's delicious!
I bought very thick cut bacon. This recipe uses a total of 8 strips of bacon and my 8 strips were about 1 pound total. If you can't find bacon that is as thickly cut, use a total of 1 pound and use a bit under half for the custard base and a bit over half for the caramelized bacon. The measurements don't have to be exact.
Don't throw away your milk and sugar steeped bacon! Place it in the oven at 375 to crisp up. It's not as delicious as the maple brown sugar caramelized bacon, but it's a totally delicious snack.