Roasted Figs, Chevre Fondant, and Bacon Ice Cream
Le Bernardin’s pastry chef, Michael Laiskonis, who proves that truly everything is better with bacon showed us how to integrate savory flavors like bacon, pepper, salt and herbs into his desserts. The bacon ice cream is a very intriguing flavor that enhances the flavor of the figs and a great marriage of sweet and savory ingredients.
Bacon Ice Cream
Finely dice the bacon, and slowly render in a sauté pan until lightly browned.
Transfer the bacon and all of the rendered fat into the milk. Gently warm the milk mixture, and then transfer to the refrigerator to chill overnight.
The next day, carefully strain the milk of both the bacon and the solidified fat.
Place strained milk in a sauce pan. Whisk in dry milk to rehydrate and gently bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks.
Temper hot milk into yolk mixture. Return to low heat and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 184ºF/83ºC.
Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream. Chill in an ice water bath. Allow mixture to mature at least 12 hours.
Process in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to covered container and allow to harden in the freezer.
Combine the milk, cream, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Over medium heat bring this mixture just to a boil.
Meanwhile, gently whisk together the egg yolk and sugar. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and very slowly temper into the egg yolk and sugar.
Return the whole to the saucepan and on low heat; cook the mixture, stirring continuously, until the mixture has reached 185ºF.
Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the vanilla pod. Allow to cool, reserving ¼ cup for the Chèvre Fondant.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the chèvre and sugar. On medium speed, cream until smooth, light, and fluffy.
Meanwhile, gently warm the crème anglaise and add gelatin to dissolve.
Combine chèvre and anglaise mixture. Fold in whipped cream.
Transfer the parfait mixture into 1 ½-inch square molds arranged on a small baking pan. Place the molds into the freezer, allowing 2 to 4 hours to completely set.
Red Wine Caramel
Combine sugar and water to moisten in a small saucepan. Over high heat, cook the sugar to a medium amber color.
Meanwhile, in a second pan, gently heat the red wine.
When sugar has reached the correct color, remove from heat and slowly add the red wine. Return to heat and cook to dissolve any hardened bits of sugar. Continue to reduce until a slightly thickened consistency is achieved.
Heat oven to 350°F/150°C. Arrange the figs on a baking sheet, cut side up, and lightly sprinkle with sugar. Roast in the oven for about 5 minutes, just until softened.
Drizzle the red wine caramel onto each plate, as well as a large spoonful of the chèvre fondant. Divide the figs evenly among each dish. Top with some of the roasted hazelnuts, a few leaves of thyme, and a grind of black pepper. Finish with a scoop of the bacon ice cream. Serve immediately.
Bacon Ice Cream
8 ounces bacon
1 pint whole milk
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk
10 tablespoons granulated
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
½ vanilla bean, split and
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ cup plain chèvre, softened to
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 sheet gelatin, softened in cold
¼ cup Crème Anglaise
½ cup heavy cream, whipped
Red Wine Caramel
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup red wine
8-12 large ripe figs, halved
- granulated sugar, as needed
¼ cup whole, roasted hazelnuts
1 branch fresh thyme
- black pepper