In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, reduce the maple syrup to 1/2 cup. Set aside.
Over moderate heat in a medium saucepan, heat the half-and-half with 1/2 cup sugar until hot and just bubbling around the edges.
In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks with 1/2 cup sugar, then add 1 cup hot half-and-half mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour the whole egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and registers 170 degrees F on a thermometer. Do not let boil. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl and whisk in the maple syrup. Cover with parchment paper letting the paper touch the surface of the mixture, to prevent a skin from forming. Chill the mixture until very cold, at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Line a rimmed sheet pan with heavy foil. Place a baking rack over the lined sheet pan and arrange the bacon slices across the rack next to each other. Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, finely chop.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a fork, until the sugar starts to melt. Stop stirring and cook until the sugar is a golden caramel color, about 10 minutes. Add the bacon and stir to coat. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and let harden. Chop the candied bacon into small pieces.
Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions, 20 to 30 minutes and at the last minute, add the candied bacon and let churn until just combined. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze.
BYOC: Try adding some cayenne pepper to your chopped bacon before you stir it into the melted sugar.
Special equipment: candy thermometer, ice cream maker.
Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson, 2011