Candied Bacon & Bourbon Ice Cream

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Ice Cream
3 tablespoons butter cubed
¾ cup brown sugar or maple sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1⅔ cups heavy cream
1¼ cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons bourbon

Candied Bacon
12 strips bacon
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Melt the butter in a  saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and salt. Let the mixture come to a low boil and cook for 1½ minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add ⅔ cup of the cream, stirring until smooth. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl.

In the same saucepan, warm the remaining 1 cup cream and the milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm cream and milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then add the mixture into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat, make sure you scrape the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats a spatula.

Pour the custard through a mesh strainer and stir it into the butter-cream mixture over an ice bath until cool. Add the vanilla and cinnamon.  Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

To make the candied bacon, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire cooling rack on top.

In a  bowl, combine the bacon with the brown sugar, bourbon, cayenne, and several generous turns of black pepper. place the bacon strips on the wire rack and put in the oven.

Cook the bacon for about 12 minutes. Turn the bacon strips over and bake for about another 6 minutes. Turn again and continue to bake until the strips are a dark mahogany color but are not burnt.  Cooking time greatly depends upon the thickness of your bacon, so watch carefully as the bacon nears near the end of the recommended baking time.

Remove the bacon from the oven, wait 30 seconds or so before removing the strips from the wire rack.

Add  3 tablespoons bourbon to the chilled ice cream custard, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Chop the cooled bacon into bite size or smaller pieces. When the ice cream has finished churning, fold in the pieces of candied bacon.

Transfer to a container and place in freezer until ice cream achieves desired consistency.

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