about 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
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
2. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil, shiny side down. (I did mine on a cooling rack on top of foil)
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.
*I opted not to add the liquor to my ice cream for two reasons – a) being that I’m pregnant, I figured I could probably skip it, plus I don’t think we had any on hand and b) adding alcohol to homemade ice cream helps keep it from freezing too hard…but since the day I made this ice cream was SO hot out, I didn’t want to make it even more melty (it already looks pretty soft in the top photos!). It tasted fine without the alcohol, but it would probably be good with it too!*