For the candied bacon:
- 5 strips thick-cut bacon
- 2/3 cup Grade-A pure maple syrup
For the pistachio ice cream:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (3 tablespoons)
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted pistachios, very finely ground in a food processor
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place bacon strips on foil.
- Bake bacon 15 minutes; remove from oven and drain fat. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F. Pour maple syrup evenly over bacon; flip to coat. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, flipping bacon and rotating baking sheet halfway through, until bacon is a deep brown and maple syrup has thickened. Transfer bacon to parchment paper to cool and harden.
- Meanwhile, prepare the ice cream. Fill a large bowl three-quarters full with ice water. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
- In a large saucepan over high heat, bring remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, 2 to 4 minutes until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat; whisk in cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, 2 to 5 minutes until mixture is slightly thickened.
- Whisk hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in pistachios, almond extract and salt. Place bowl over ice bath for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mostly cool.
- When mixture is cooled, strain into the bowl of an ice cream maker, pressing pistachios against strainer to extract all the flavor. Churn ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions. Break up cooled bacon into small bits and add to ice cream along with the dark chocolate chips; stir until well mixed.
- Pack ice cream into a plastic container. Cover surface of ice cream directly with plastic wrap, then cover with an airtight lid. Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight, until firm.