It’s that time of year again! The time of year where we schlep through the woods to tap maple trees, collect sap and spend hours upon hours of boiling it down in order to make sweet, sweet maple syrup. This year we’re stepping up our game by increasing our taps from 100 to over 200. We’ll also be doing something very special with our finished syrup but you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see what that is! We’ve been storing last year’s syrup away like squirrels and we’re almost to the very end of our stash! So I thought that this week would be a great time to make something special with our homemade maple syrup. With lots of syrup, fresh duck eggs on hand and a sudden “heat wave” (50 degrees!) that meant one thing and one thing only…. dessert. Sweet, creamy, most excellent dessert. In my belly. Now.
I’ve been obsessed with my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment for a while now and relish any opportunity to use it. Toasted marshmallows? Make it an ice cream! Fresh persimmons? Make it an ice cream! Left over pie? Ice cream. Snow? Ice cream. French toast? Ice cream. Everything. Ice cream. I love sweet with my salty and thought that putting that into ice cream form (the most perfect form) would be a great combination of sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy. I started with a maple syrup base and added in candied bacon pieces.
Here’s what you need for the ice cream:
- 3 large egg yolks (I used duck eggs and it worked beautifully)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2 cups heavy cream
Here’s what you need for the bacon:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3-4 strips smoked bacon (or use more for more bacon, duh!)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch chipotle or cayenne pepper (optional)
Here’s What You Do
Start with the ice cream: Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt into a bowl. In a sauce pan, heat the milk until almost simmering. Temper the egg yolks by adding a small amount ofÂ warmÂ milk to the egg mixture and whisking quickly. Or else if you don’t, you’ll end up with scrambled egg ice cream! Gradually add in the warm milk until all incorporated then transfer egg/milk mixture back to heat until it’s almost simmering and thick enough to coat a spoon. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the fridge.
Then start with the bacon brittle! Make sure all boys are out of the house because once they smell bacon and sugar it’s all over. Start by cooking the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and cool. Then chop into small pieces.
Cook the sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it melts and turns amber. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and baking soda. Then stir in the bacon and the optional chipotle or cayenne.
Pour onto a greased baking sheet and let cool until set, about 20 minutes. Break into bite size pieces using a meat mallet, skillet or good ol fashioned hammer.
Now it’s time to start making the ice cream! Stir the heavy cream into the chilled custard. Add in half of the bacon bits (reserving some to sprinkle on top for serving and snacking). Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions. Transfer to an airtight container and let it freeze for a few hours. The waiting is the hardest part.
There’s nothing like coming in from collecting 100+ gallons of maple sap in a day and rewarding yourself with some homemade maple syrup ice cream! It’s the most excellent motivator! In a week we’ll have gallons and gallons of fresh new maple syrup. It just takes a whole lot of schlepping in the meantime. It can’t get any better than homemade maple syrup and farm fresh duck eggs turned into the most wonderful farm fresh, handmade and farmmade maple syrup ice cream with candied bacon! The only thing that would make this better is bacon from our pigs! One day…