“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.” (Who can name that movie?)
Today’s recipe is one that Buddy the Elf would go crazy over – maple gelato, made with a full cup of syrup. In this case, it was Virginia hickory syrup, which is made from roasting the bark of hickory trees. The particular variety I used was made with brandy and vanilla bean, and I scraped the seeds from the vanilla bean pod into the custard before freezing it. The result was a lightly speckled appearance and a hint of vanilla. This gelato is sweet, with the delicate flavor of the syrup running through it. So if you’ve ever thought “Man, this syrup is so good I could drink it,” this recipe is for you.
Since I can’t resist the combination of maple and bacon, I took this recipe a step further and topped the gelato with candied bacon before serving. Yes, I know bacon in dessert applications is a trend a lot of people aren’t fond of, but I happen to think it’s delicious. To make the candied bacon, I place the bacon on a baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Then I top it with parchment and another baking sheet and bake at 325º for 20-30 minutes. Baking it low and slow yields perfectly crisp bacon. The salty-sweetness of the candied bacon pairs perfectly with this sweet and creamy gelato.