Pardon me, while I clean up my drool.
To answer some questions: Yes, it is as good as it sounds. Yes, I did eat two entire servings, plus half of somebody else's when they weren't looking. No, it wasn't hard to make at all. No, you don't need an ice cream maker. Yes, you really can smoke cream and yes, it was the best part of this dish.
Nevermind the best part was the candied bacon.
Just kidding it was the sweet maple flavor.
Ok, so all of the parts of this dish were the best parts of this dish. From the smoky sweet ice cream to the salty candy crunch of the bacon, this delectable dessert satisfies every sweet/salty tooth you might have.
Did I mention that you mix the ice cream in zip-top bags? No need for an expensive ice cream maker for this recipe. This is a great way to get your kids involved on a warm day and let them make their own servings of ice cream!
Smoked Maple Cream with Candied Bacon
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Freeze Time: 20-30 minutes
Recommended Pellets: Maple or Hickory
For the Candied Bacon:
8 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
For the Ice Cream:
2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring (optional, but recommended)
For making the Ice Cream:
8-12 quart sized zip-top bags
5 pounds ice
2 cups ice cream salt or kosher salt
Start your Traeger on smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes to establish fire. Close the lid and preheat for 10-15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon maple syrup to form a thick paste.
Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray and then line with aluminum foil. Lay the strips of bacon on the foil.
Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of the paste on each piece of bacon using the back of a spoon.
Place the sheet pan in the Traeger and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Flip the bacon using tongs. Be sure to drag the bacon through the carmelized sugar as you turn it over. Top each piece with the remaining brown sugar paste and cook for 5-7 more minutes until the bacon is firm and glossy from the sugar. The edges of your brown sugar will be extra crispy or burned. This is just fine.
Transfer the bacon to a cooling rack or plate and allow it to cool completely. When cooled, crumble your bacon (if desired) into a bowl and set aside. Turn the heat on your Traeger down to smoke.
In a 9x13 pan, combine all of the ingredients for the ice cream. Whisk until all of the sugar dissolves. Place the pan in your Traeger and allow to smoke for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Raise the temperature on your Traeger to 250 degrees and, using a thermometer, cook until the temperature of your cream mixture reaches 170 degrees fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Do Not Exceed 170 Degrees, and do not allow your cream mixture to boil.
Take your cream mixture off the heat and allow to cool completely.
Divide the cream mixture into 4-6 of the quart sized zip-top bags. Seal tightly and then insert those into a second bag and seal. Fill a gallon zip-top bag with 1 pound of ice and 1/3 cup ice cream salt.
Shake vigorously and be patient. This step will seem like it is taking forever, but have fun with it. Toss it back and forth, bounce it on a trampoline or have a dance contest. The time will pass, I promise!
Keep adding ice and salt to the outer gallon bag as needed and drain the excess water.
When the ice cream mixture is frozen to your desired consistency, add in your bacon. You can mix it directly into the ice cream or sprinkle on top. Either way, enjoy!!