Makes: about 1 quart / Preparation time: 40 minutes / Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes, plus churning time
FOR ICE CREAM
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup 2% or whole milk
1 cup maple syrup
2 cups heavy whipping cream
FOR BACON BRITTLE
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for the baking sheet
3 strips thick-sliced smoked bacon
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or a pinch of cayenne pepper
To make the ice cream: In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a saucepan and whisk in the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until almost simmering (the mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon), about 5 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until very cold, about 30-45 minutes.
To make the bacon brittle: Butter a rimmed baking sheet. Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to paper towels to drain. Let the bacon cool, then finely chop.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the sugar and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it melts and turns golden, about 4 minutes. (If lumps form, remove from the heat and continue stirring until melted.) Continue to cook, stirring, until light amber, about 2 more minutes.
Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter. Carefully stir in the baking soda, then stir in the bacon and chile powder. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and let cool until set, about 10 to 15 minutes. Break into bite-size pieces, then smash about one-third of the brittle into shards with a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Reserve the remaining brittle in a container for up to 3 days.
Stir the cream into the chilled custard. Churn in an ice cream maker. Stir in the bacon brittle shards. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Serve sprinkled with some of the remaining bacon brittle, if desired.
Adapted from Food Network Magazine July/August 2012 issue. Tested by Susan Selasky in the Free Press Test Kitchen.
Analysis per 1/2 cup serving. 395 calories (36% from fat), 16 grams fat (9 grams sat. fat), 61 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 179 mg sodium, 127 mg cholesterol, 0 grams fiber.