This is a first course style custard served with a spicy, sweet crumbled candied bacon topping. It is set alongside a very savory tomato sorbet. Making it a very sophisticated brulee.
- 1½ pound very ripe tomatoes
- 1½ cup water
- ½ cup corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon non-fat milk powder (optional to improve texture)
- 6 slice extra thick bacon
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cup heavy cream
- 2 ears corn, kernels removed cob saved
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
To make the sorbet: You’ll need to start the sorbet at least one day ahead so that it will harden properly.
Prepare an ice water bath. Cut a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato. Drop them boiling water to blanch about 30 seconds and then transfer into the ice water bath. Skins should peel off easily with a small, sharp knife. Quarter them and remove the seeds, then puree them in a blender.
Add the water, corn syrup, paprika and milk powder (if using) to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat. When cool, mix in the tomato puree.
Place mixture in an ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scrap the sorbet into a container with a lid and freeze until hard. Overnight is best.
To make the spicy candied bacon: Roughly chop the bacon, then transfer it to a food processor, along with the brown sugar and cayenne. Pulse 10, or 12 times until a coarse, crumbly mixture is achieved.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon mixture and cook stirring very, very often until the bacon begins to cook and the sugar caramelizes. Do not cook it to very crisp and do not let the sugar burn. Taste often. When the bacon is cooked but still a bit chewy remove it from the pan to stop cooking and transfer it to a plate to cool.
To make the corn brulee: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bring the cream, reserved cobs, and sugar to a simmer in a pot. Remove from heat, and cover 30 minutes until flavors develop. In a medium-sized bowl whisk the egg yolks until well aerated and lighter in color. Strain the cream mixture while whisking into the same bowl, discarding any solids. Wash out the saucepan and put the cream and yolk mixture back into the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring and scraping the entire time until the mixture thickens somewhat. Strain the mixture again.
Divide the corn kernels into four 6-oz ovenproof ramekins. Top each with about ¼ of the cream mixture, leaving about ¼-inch of space to the lip of the ramekin. Set the filled ramekins into a baking pan. Fill the pan about ½ way up the sides of the ramekins with water and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake until custard sets, about 45 minutes. Cool completely.
To serve: Roughly chop the candied bacon into a gravely mixture. Divide it evenly on top of the 4 ramekins, spread to cover well. Place the ramekins under the broiler until the bacon mixture begins to bubble. Remove from broiler to let cool completely. Alternatively you may use a small blow torch to caramelize the candied bacon. Serve at room temperature with a small scoop of tomato sorbet.