Back in the early days of this blog, I mentioned that I made a bacon-peanut brittle ice cream, how awesome it was, and that one day, I would get around to writing about it. This is not that day.
No- this is the story of bacon-pecan brittle.
I was at my parents' house a few weeks ago to see my uncle, who was visiting. He shares the family interest in (some might say addiction to) eating, and the subject of my ice cream came up. I offered to make any flavor he wanted, and listed some I've made. His eyes lit up when I mentioned Bacon Peanut Brittle, but my brother told me my niece is allergic to peanuts. As adorable as my niece is, I couldn't let her allergy stand in the way of ice cream. And so, Bacon-Pecan Brittle Ice Cream was born.
This isn't a complicated ice cream. Making the brittle is the most time-intensive step.
1. Cook the bacon. (The recipe calls for only two strips, but who are we kidding- use the whole pack). Remember this is going into ice cream, not on an egg sandwich, so it should be pretty crispy.
2. Assemble the rest of your ingredients. You really want to get everything together before you start, since once the sugar is melted, things start going pretty fast.
Many years ago, my friend Lynn sent me her recipe for a savory bread pudding. It has such heart-healthy ingredients as cheddar cheese, (turkey) sausage, cream, eggs, olive oil and butter. Lynn closes the instructions with step #8: "eat! but not if you have like cholesterol and/or heart problems." This is how I felt while making the brittle.
3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and butter in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring often, until it turns golden brown (10-15 minutes).
4. When it's ready, remove the pot from the heat, and immediately stir in the vanilla, salt, peanuts and bacon (ie, everything except the baking soda). It'll thicken up, but keep mixing, until it's evenly combined.
5. Sprinkle with the baking soda, and stir to combine. The recipe says it'll foam up, but this didn't happen to me.
6. Spread the whole thing out on a baking sheet (I used one sheet, and it came out pretty thick; consider using two, if you want thinner brittle). Let it cool completely, before breaking it up into chunks.
This recipe makes quite a bit- so much I didn't need to stand guard over it, to prevent family members from stealing pieces over the course of the afternoon. Store the brittle in an air tight container for up to two weeks. (Don't refrigerate it.)
This is how much I had left over. Needless to say, the family scavengers finished it by early the next morning.
At this point, you're good to go. You can make a standard vanilla ice cream base, and mix this in when the ice cream is just about done churning. Or you could make your own little tribute to The King, and make it into some kind of peanut butter, banana and bacon-brittle sandwich. Or just keep eating the brittle from the container a little (or a lot) at a time. I won't judge you.
* The recipe comes from Humphrey Slocumbe's flavor 'Elvis: The Fat Years', which is a banana and brown sugar ice cream, with the bacon-peanut brittle mixed in. My in-laws got me their book as a present, but you can get the original recipe from this article