My ode to Canada 150: traditional Canadiana meets modern multiculturalism
Cardamom Ice Cream with Candied Maple Bacon
If there’s one thing I have an undeniable weakness for, it’s ice cream of any variety…gelato, sorbet, ice cream, semifreddo…you name it. My partner Jason is the same way and I’m sure it’s one of the reasons we’ve been together for 13 years, united over a common love of delicious icy goodness. I mean, when we travel, ‘best ice cream INSERT CITY NAME’ is one of our usual Google searches during the planning process.
So it’s no wonder that I decided to buy an ice cream maker a few years ago to make my own at home. Hello jackpot…my little Kitchenaid machine is seriously one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. You can hear the sound of the motor change slightly as the mixture thickens into ice cream which is usually when I start to grin and giddily grab a spoon.
When Canada 150 celebrations started to kick off this summer, I was thinking about a recipe idea that would represent Canada in 2017 and for summer, it had to be ice cream. Naturally, flavours of maple and bacon were a given and cardamom also came to mind, one of the common flavours used in many fragrant South Asian, Indian and Asian dishes – these communities representing a significant portion of Canada’s national fabric today.
And so, my ode to Canada 150: Cardamom Ice Cream with Candied Maple Bacon, combining traditional Canadiana with the fragrant flavours of our modern multicultural landscape: A little time consuming but so worth it in the end!
Cardamom Ice Cream*
- 1 cup (250 mL) whole milk
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 10 cardamom pods
- 2 cups (500 mL) heavy cream
- 5 large egg yolks
- In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, salt and cardamom pods in 1 cup of the heavy cream. Heat over medium heat until bubbles just begin to form, then cover, remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove the cardamom pods.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together.
- Rewarm the cardamom-infused mixture over medium heat. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and return to the stove over medium heat.
- Stir the mixture constantly with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 8 – 10 minutes.
- Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a large bowl and place a mesh strainer on top.
- Pour the custard mixture through the strainer into the cream. Stir until cool over ice water.
- Chill the mixture in the fridge, ideally overnight, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container.
*I can’t take full credit for this recipe. I was gifted a copy of “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz, a fantastic cookbook of ice cream ideas featuring a recipe for cinnamon ice cream that I reimagined with cardamom.
Candied Maple Bacon
- 5 – 6 strips of good quality bacon
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Place a baking cooling rack over a parchment lined cookie sheet and set aside
- Pour maple syrup into a shallow dish, and brown sugar into a second shallow dish
- Dip each bacon slice into the maple syrup and then into the brown sugar covering both sides. Press lightly then shake gently to remove any excess.
- Arrange all slices on the rack, then bake for approximately 30 – 35 minutes until dark and golden, turning once. Baking on the rack will ensure the bacon comes out crispy and not soggy.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a parchment lined plate. The bacon will continue to harden as the sugar cools and crystalizes.
- Break into small pieces and set aside.
The bacon will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container, if you can hold yourself back from eating them all in one sitting.
To serve, sprinkle a few shards of the glossy bacon shards over the ice cream and enjoy. In my first attempt, I tried folding the bacon directly into the ice cream as it came out of the machine but it made for a strange chewy texture as the bacon lost its crunch factor. It’s better served on top as a garnish.