Thursday, July 06, 2006

bacon and egg ice cream

At a recent party, I declared that any flavor of ice cream would taste good. Of course, everyone started throwing out odd possibilities. "Bacon?" someone asked skeptically. "Of course bacon," I replied with a good deal of bravado (it'a habit of mine, speaking confidently regarding things I know nothing about). I love ice cream, so I almost believed it, and started trying to concoct a recipe for bacon ice cream. I only got as far as soaking bacon in milk, which is a pretty obvious first step.

I told Sarah about my bacon ice cream idea and she was doubtful of its merits. And then, in what was surely a fated act, I bought a copy of Food & Wine to read on the way home from Temecula. In it was a charming article by Alec Le Seur about taking his kids to eat at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck, the recipient of three Michelin stars and reportedly the best restaurant in the world. And on the menu at the Fat Duck? Bacon and egg ice cream.

Well, if the best restaurant in the world serves it, it must be a good idea. With a bit of Google searching, I found a recipe. I had to figure out a few ingredient equivalents (liquid glucose?) and do a lot of math (including halving the recipe--how much bacon ice cream does a girl need?)

The result? hmmmm. The color and texture are lovely. I may borrow some of the techniques for future, sweeter ice creams. The taste is pleasant--certainly like bacon and eggs, but sweeter and cold (similar to the sensation of eating buttered popcorn jelly bellies). The mix of sweet and savory is a bit disconcerting, but if you let go of preconceptions about ice cream and bacon, then the taste is actually quite good. At the Fat Duck, Blumenthal serves the ice cream with a variety of accompaniments (carmalised brioche, tomato and pepper jam, tea jelly, etc.) that together create a riff on English breakfast. I can imagine that all of these flavors would make a compelling eating experience, but I don't have the patience.

Here's my adapted ingredient list (you can find the instructions at the link above: roast the bacon at 350 degrees and bring the egg mixture to 185).

5 oz. smoked bacon
1 pint whole milk
1 T. dry milk
12 egg yolks
1/8 cup light corn syrup
3/8 cup superfine sugar

Soaking the bacon

Cooking the egg mixture


Removing the solids


Blogger William Conway said...

Awesome! You just made my day. I think this is proves that bacon makes everything taste better.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Lisa B. said...

Well, I certainly salute your bold taste exploration, but I think I wouldn't have gone past the concept, because (a) yuck, icy bacon, and (b) bacon in ice cream! Which is to say, it sounds like such a bad idea, much like many of the great restaurant ideas. I like reading about them, but I wouldn't want to eat it. Like Bulli in Spain, you know? Who really wants to eat clam-flavored foam? But glad to hear it wasn't appalling.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hmmm. I am still very suspicious of this idea, but I think it's very cook that you figured it out. But then I'm not a bacon eater anymore anyway. You'll have to let us know if/when you try the goat cheese ice cream from the Ramos House cookbook!

9:20 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Er, that K in "cook" should be an L.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Houseboat Bob said...

I'm impressed - no more than that - in your debt forever. Gotta love the bacon!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Cat Cora just made bacon ice cream on Iron Chef America! As part of the pork battle, she served it with panini-pressed pork and a lard-streusel topping! She didn't win, but the judges were impressed.

9:02 AM  

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