Special equipment: Ice cream maker
For the sweet corn ice cream: Heat a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cream, milk, vanilla beans, corn cobs and kernels, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a scald, being careful not to curdle the cream. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl, until fully incorporated, reaching a creamy, golden consistency. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, strain it into a large bowl. Remove the corn cobs, kernels and vanilla beans. Remove the vanilla bean seeds by scraping the beans with the back of your knife. Add the seeds to the milk mixture. Discard the corn cobs and use a ladle or a wooden spoon to push any liquids through the remaining solids, into the milk mixture. Discard the solids. Add the salt. Slowly add the milk mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly as you pour, tempering it to make sure the eggs don't scramble.
Quickly wipe out the original saucepan and return the milk mixture to the pan. Put the pan over medium heat, stirring consistently until you reach a thickened consistency, that coats the back of a spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the ice cream mixture into a new bowl and immediately put the bowl over an ice bath, stirring, to cool quickly. Once chilled down completely, pour it into an ice cream machine and spin according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove the ice cream to a large container and put it in the freezer to help set up the right consistency.
For the popcorn: Heat the olive oil in a medium-size saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels and cover with a lid. Cook according to the package directions until the corn is fully popped. Once popped and still hot, salt generously. Set aside.
Use a spoon to shape a scoop of ice cream onto each serving plate. Spoon some of the candied bacon generously over the ice cream on each plate and garnish with the popcorn. Taste!
To a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, add oil and bacon. Render the bacon until crunchy, about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to be sure it's not sticking to the pan. Once fully crisp, pour off a little excess fat. Add the brown sugar to the bacon in the pan and stir it to dissolve and caramelize. Stir in the lemon juice and cream, and stir well to combine. Adjust consistency with more cream if needed.
Yield: 1/4 cup
Recipe courtesy of Michael Symon