Bacon Maple Ale Ice Cream

Welcome to #IceCreamWeek! Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina have teamed up with more than 20 of their blog friends to bring you a week full of ice cream treats, including a special ice cream giveaway! Prepare to have your taste buds tempted with some of the best ice cream treats around! Make sure you enter the giveaway for a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and two fabulous ice cream cookbooks so that you can join in on the ice cream fun!

Bacon Maple Ale Ice CreamI decided to bring something a little different to the Ice Cream Social: an ice cream made from Rogue Ales’ Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale. This is an unusual brew, evoking a sense of Sunday morning breakfast with every sip. While it wasn’t bad as a drink, it’s not something you could sit down and drink all afternoon. It’s just not that kind of beer; it’s too sweet, too deep, too much for that. These qualities, however, make it a great way to flavor ice cream.

Bacon Maple Ale Ice CreamI turned to America’s Test Kitchen Feed for instruction on how exactly I could make ice cream from beer. While I found their suggestion to reduce the beer before adding it to the custard to be indispensable, I have an issue with their advice to skip tempering eggs and just whisk everything together. I had a gut feeling this was a bad idea, but I followed along, sure that these people knew what they were talking about. This is America’s Test Kitchen, after all! Instead, I scrambled eggs in my custard for the first time in my life. Grrr! I urge you: it really does not take any extra time or dirty any extra dishes. Temper your eggs. It will save you a lot of frustration!

Bacon Maple Ale Ice CreamThis ice cream is not super sweet, and that was intentional. I wanted you to fully enjoy the complex flavors working together: subtle sweetness, smokiness, meaty bacon, bitter hops. If you’d like to adjust it, remember that the custard will taste sweeter than the final frozen product and that maple syrup packs more of a punch than granulated sugar; I wouldn’t suggest bumping it up past 1/2 cup, at the most. Homemade ice cream is best eaten quickly; plan on consuming it within 3 days of freezing.

Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale Ice Cream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 12 ounces Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract or the scrapings of ½ a vanilla bean)
  • 6 organic free range egg yolks
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 cups organic half-and-half (important that it's organic because there are no additives; it's just cream and milk)
  • 5-6 strips candied bacon, chopped
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce the beer down to half (about ¾ cup), stirring frequently. (This could take 10-12 minutes.)
  2. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and then store reduced beer in refrigerator while making the custard.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, maple syrup, and salt until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Heat the half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles start forming around the perimeter, stirring constantly, scraping the bottom often to keep from burning.
  5. Remove from heat and add half the hot half-and-half to the eggs in a slow, steady stream, whisking the entire time.
  6. Whisk until well incorporated, then pour the tempered eggs into the remaining half-and-half in a steady stream, whisking the whole time.
  7. Return to the heat and cook until thickened to the point that it coats the back of a wooden spoon and a finger dragged through the custard leaves a clear path.
  8. Remove from the heat, place a strainer over the top of a large bowl and pour the custard over that into the clean bowl.
  9. Get another bowl that's slightly larger and fill with ice to create an ice bath for the custard. Place the custard bowl in that and stir periodically until it gets down to room temperature, maybe 15 minutes.
  10. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  11. Process in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions, adding the chopped candied bacon in the last 2 minutes of churning.
  12. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving to firm it up.
I may actually consider using straight heavy cream instead of half-and-half next time. Because the beer's water content, even with it reduced, it cuts down on the richness of the cream. I'd be curious to know your thoughts if anyone does try making it this way...

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Ice Cream Social WeekKim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina have also teamed up for a fabulous giveaway! ***This giveaway is for one Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, White, one copy of The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More, and one copy of Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes: 100 Thick and Creamy Shakes You Can Make At Home (three different winners)! This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. When the contest concludes, the winner will be chosen by random draw. The winner will then be notified through e-mail and they will have 3 days to respond or another winner will be chosen.***

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  1. Yes! Monday is finally here…I’ve been dying to see this recipe since I saw your title. It sounds so good…and I need to find myself some of that ale! And yeah, I think I’d agree about tempering the eggs…it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. YUM!

    1. I hope it lived up to some of the hype. πŸ˜‰ Now all you need to do is track that beer down and you’re good to go!

  2. Wow, what a creative ice cream flavor!!! It looks so creamy and wonderful!

  3. okay, I cannot even imagine the flavor/texture of this ice cream! But I would gladly give it a try being an ice cream/gelato fan πŸ™‚

    • The Ninja Baker on 12 August, 2013 at 12:22 pm
    • Reply

    A custard can be challenging but always worth it in the end. So glad you shared this recipe, Carrie. My nephew in law is a big beer fan. Thinking this might be a perfect topping to his birthday cake =)

    P.s. Thanks for the intro to Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale!

    P.s. 2. Love to have you take a peek at the Ninja Baker’s s’more ice cream offering =)

    1. I have taken a quick peek at your s’mores ice cream but haven’t had the time to sit down and fully appreciate it yet. You are on my list! My favorite flavor combo right now!

    • Heather B on 12 August, 2013 at 1:30 pm
    • Reply

    Oh gosh that looks delicious. May have to try it.

  4. Looks like this one is about to be my new favorite! I love bacon! Otherwise, it’s pumpkin or sweet cream ice cream.

  5. SO epic! Thank you so much for joining us this week!

    • Ruthy @ Omeletta on 12 August, 2013 at 3:12 pm
    • Reply

    Beer, bacon AND ice cream!? I feel like an excited puppy, and can’t decide which flavor I want more! Surprised that ATK led your down a weird, non-tempered-egg path- their recipes are usually so foolproof!

    1. Weird, isn’t it? They’re so reliable as a source–I’m surprised they would have such a flippant recommendation on their site.

  6. Interesting. . .I’ve made beer ice cream many times and I never reduce it – just pour it straight in! I might have to give your method a try though. So I have tried Voodoo and could barely get a sip down, but as ice cream. Yes, yes indeed I see this working beautifully!

    1. I was tempted to pour it right in, but I was also concerned that the water content would make the ice cream overly icy.

  7. Holy cow!!! I’ve never thought to make ice cream with beer. Genius! And I absolutely love the flavors you have going on here. I wonder if I can find that brew around here. I need to make this! I feel the overwhelming need to make it as soon as humanly possible, in fact. Amazing ice cream! PS… always trust your gut πŸ˜‰ Sorry about the scrambled eggs. What a waste. That really stinks.

    1. If you can’t find it locally, it can be ordered online. Just ask in the package store if you don’t see it. It stands out with that big, pink bottle. πŸ˜‰ Other great options (without the bacon) would be stouts, especially chocolate.

  8. I would like to try a Bacon and chocolate chip ice cream. What a great recipe!

    1. I like the way you think! That would probably be amazing!

  9. Crazy good sounding ice cream you made, I sooooo want to try this πŸ™‚

  10. Whoa genius! Love the sweet and salty flavor combo.

    1. Thank you! It’s all about balance!

  11. I love mint chocolate chip ice cream πŸ™‚

  12. OMG, beer & bacon?! I thought that your gingersnap rum ice cream might be the most exciting ice cream flavor yet, but now I’m reconsidering πŸ˜‰

    1. There’s a time for vanilla…and then there’s a time for something that will really throw you off balance.

    • Elizabeth @ on 13 August, 2013 at 1:52 am
    • Reply

    Bacon? Maple? Ale? I’m pretty much freaking out over all of it, and I don’t know which part to obsess over first. It all sounds amazing! I’m excited to be blogging along with you and to see what you come up with this week. πŸ™‚

    1. You have had some amazing treats this week! Loving it!

  13. What interesting ingredients. My husband would be all over this one. It looks creamy and delicious!

    1. Thank you! I figure we need to think outside the box (ice cream carton) once in a while, right? πŸ˜‰

  14. Ohh… so I keep seeing this beer, and wanting to try it, but being scared I’d drop the $ and hate it. Now I know what to do with the remainder! Also, occasionally I’ve skipped the egg tempering, but made up for it by whisking the crap out of it as I sloooooowly add the eggs. It’s worked, but I know I’m playing with fire. Tempering is a better way to go.

    1. You’ll have enough left to drink after making the ice cream–and you probably can’t drink more than that in a sitting anyway. There’s a lot going on it for flavor, but like I said, that’s why it works well with the ice cream.

      As for skipping the egg tempering, I whisked the entire freaking time. It was so heartbreaking. Tempering really isn’t that time-consuming. Totally worth the extra step!

  15. Dude, you’re killing me. And what a way to go.

    Thanks so much for joining us for this event. I promise we’re usually way more organized. Lol!

    1. Thanks for inviting me! Bah! Nothing ever goes completely to plan. At least we have the ice cream to eat in the process. πŸ˜‰

  16. Bacon in ice cream? I have to try that sometime. I love bacon as cupcake topping or in cookies so it has to be good here too!

    1. Bacon goes great with everything, right?

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