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An All-American 4th of July: Applewood Smoked Bacon Ice Cream with Maple Syrup

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I think my favorite holiday may be the 4th of July. It gives me a chance to not only run around grilling to my hearts content without people thinking I am a mad man playing with fire and knives, but it gives me a chance to delve into what is considered to be true-blue (or true red/white and blue) American cooking. It's fun and that really is what cooking should be all about.

In this series called An All-American 4th of July, we will have some fun with some true American cooking. It will be tasty! It will be easy and it will give you a chance to celebrate the birth of the greatest nation on the face of this earth while filling your stomach with delicious morsels of Americana!

To me, bacon may very well be the perfect food. It is salty. It is sweet. It is easy to prepare and now, you can have it for dessert too! I created this recipe after eating breakfast at a rather swanky restaurant in Los Angeles. As I was dining, the incredible bacon I was being served decided to swim into the pure maple syrup this place served with their homemade buttermilk biscuits. So being the rebel that I am, I slathered the entire strip of bacon in the syrup and proceeded to plunge the whole damn thing into my mouth. For the first time in my life (at least in public), I had a tongue orgasm! Bacon in maple syrup, what else could be better? Hmmm, maybe just incorporating those two flavors into some homemade rich vanilla ice cream!

This ice cream will be unlike anything you have tried before. The texture will be rather satiny due to the inclusion of the fat from the bacon. You will taste a slight smokiness, a qaint natural sweetness from the pure maple syrup and the ever-so-humble hint of vanilla. Before you serve it, you can top this little touch of culinary heaven with some finely chopped toasted pecans.

You can substitute different types of smoked bacon for this recipe but do not use anything other than pure maple syrup. And if you use that poison called "pancake/waffle syrup" I will personally come to your house and slap you!

Now I know what some of you are thinking. This is a dieter's worst nightmare. No, that would be Oprah schlepping some diet book. This is simply nirvana. Look, you only live once, enjoy it, dammit!

Ingredients needed to make Apple Smoked Bacon Ice Cream with Maple Syrup (makes 5 cups):

  • 2 cups heavy cream, very cold
  • 1 cup milk, very cold
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup minced cooked applewood smoked bacon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Steps:

  1. Into a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients until very well combined.
  2. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour.
  3. Pour the ingredients into an ice cream machine and churn 20 minutes. If you don't have an electric machine then follow given instruction sheet.
  4. Serve this ice cream with some chopped toasted pecan. If you want the ice cream harder, freeze until ready to serve (though ice cream is meant to be served in a soft stage).

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."

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