Apple bacon jam, served in a mason jar, or as the secret ingredient in a savory dish. Who knew?
I came upon this little treat quite by accident. It’s Part I of the Creative Cooking Club March Challenge. We were given four ingredients to make a dish and I wasn’t exactly thrilled, I must admit. But every time I complain about an ingredient, I push through it and learn something new and exciting, and that’s why I take part in cooking challenges. They stretch me and I get to share it with you, perhaps encourage you to try new notes in your own kitchen.
But when I heard what the four ingredients were, I couldn’t put them together in my head.
Three of the ingredients were granny smith apples, bacon and vinegar. I won’t tell you the 4th ingredient, as you will have to catch that on the next post, but it was that fourth ingredient that did me in, when trying to combine it with the other three. For weeks, I had no good ideas and then like a ton of bricks, it hit me.
Bacon jam made with apples. I looked at several recipes for bacon jam and vinegar was mentioned every time. All I had to do was incorporate apples which go well with bacon and voila, a new appetizer. All I needed to do was figure out how to incorporate that fourth ingredient, and I did.
The first time I saw bacon jam was on Lorraine’s site, Not Quite Nigella. I added the apples, and adapted the recipe to accommodate the challenge. Not paying attention, I only cooked it for 45 minutes instead of two hours, but it worked.
I’ve already tested it out on these fluffy biscuits, spread it on slices of hard cheese and incorporated it well into the challenge dish, which will be revealed tomorrow. You won’t believe where this apple bacon jam ended up.
It will look like this before you take it to the food processor.
Here are two amazing dishes made with this apple bacon jam:
- 1 pound bacon, sliced into two inch slices
- 3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, roughly chopped
- 2 large shallots (or 1 medium sweet onion)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- ½ cup strong coffee (I used shot of espresso)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more as your taste desires)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- In heavy bottomed pot or pan, fry bacon until crisp. Pour all but about a tablespoon of bacon grease out. Remove bacon.
- Add in apples, shallots or onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, vinegar, brown sugar and saute until apples are soft.
- Add bacon back in. Add maple syrup and cook down until it looks like a compote, about 45 minutes. I only cooked it very low heat for one hour.
- Pour off any bacon grease. This part is important.
- Process in food processor, but not too much. Pulse it and check to see that you can visibly see the bacon, as shown in the picture. Store in refrigerator up to a week.
- Note: If when cooking the compote down, it becomes too dry, add in some water.
- This is better when left in refrigerator for 24 hours. The flavors meld.