Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bacon Jam PopTarts with Maple-Chipotle Icing

savory, flakey & delicious!

I have two life changing words for you: Bacon. Jam.

I'd heard about bacon jam on Top Chef, and found a picture of a bacon jam PopTart on Pinterest, but it had no recipe. After some interneting to learn more about this meatalicious jam, I came up with a recipe.  With a brunch on the calendar for this morning, I thought this would be a fun contribution to the spread.

The process is actually SUPER easy - it just takes awhile to cook down to the right consistency, and it is not something that can be rushed.  The end result is a savory, meaty, smoky, rich & spicy taste of wonderfullness that really has no comparison.

Bacon Jam

  • 1 lb high quality bacon 
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Cholula hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa poweder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Black Pepper

In an enameled cast iron pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat renders out.  You don't really want to brown it, just get the fat to render.  This will probably have to be done in a few batches. Once cooked, let cool, finely chop, and set aside.

Discard some of the fat, leaving just enough for a thin layer on the bottom of the pot. Add your onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat until translucent but not browned.

Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot, stir well. Add in the bacon, and bring to a simmer.  As soon as the mixture is simmering, reduce the heat to low.  Continue to cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.  You want it to end up as a somewhat dry and deep brown chunky paste.  If it looks to oily, push the mixture to one side of the pot, tip it, and absorb the oil with a paper towel.  If it starts to dry too quickly before reaching a nice deep color, just add a bit of water.

When done, you can either purée it in a food processor till smooth, or just keep it chunky (that's what I did).  Remove from heat, and put into a jar.  The jam will stay good for at least 1 week in the fridge.

Bacon jam is great as a sandwich spread, burger topper, or addition to scrambled eggs. If you want to make it into a PopTart, read on!

Best Flakey Pastry
This is an excellent pastry dough to use for anything from Rugalach to Empanadas!

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 2 T sour cream.
Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor just until mixed.

Then add the butter, and pulse until a coarse meal is formed.

Add in the cream cheese and the sour cream, and pulse just until a rough dough starts to form.

Remove and put onto a floured surface, push together into a cohesive dough, and divide into 3 portions.  Make a flat-ish disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 15 minutes (this can be made ahead and left in the freezer, just refrigerate until unfrozen but still cold before using).

Let this freeze while you prep the icing, then you're ready to assemble your PopTarts.

Maple-Chipotle Icing
Perfect for a little touch of sweet and spicy!

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Real Maple Syrup
  • Half & Half
  • Pinch of Chipotle chili powder
So I don't have measurements here - this is easy enough to 'eye' it.  In a smal mixing bowl, add about 3/4 -1 cup of powdered sugar.  Pour in some maple syrup, and stir.  Start with a little bit, and add more as needed to get it to a very thick frosting - basically just wet enough so there isn't any dry sugar left. Once you reach this point, add some half & half, a tiny bit at a time, just to thin the mixture into a drizzle-able consistency. Add in a pinch of the Chipotle chili powder to give it a little kick and to add some color. 

To assemble the PopTarts:
Roll out the pastry dough into a nice thin piece (think the thickness of a store bought pie dough)

I chose to make circular pop-tarts, so I used a 3" circle cookie cutter (the bacon jam is very rich so you don't want to make these too big). You could also cut the dough into little rectangles to be more authentic looking.

On a parchment lined cookie sheet, place half of the pastry pieces.  Spoon some of the bacon jam onto the top of the pastry and pat down into an even layer, leaving at least a 1/4 inch border on the sides.

Whisk together 1 egg white and a couple Tablespoons of milk to make an egg wash.  Using your finger, rub some of the egg wash around the edge of the jam topped pastry.  Then, take a pastry top, and do the same thing on its edge. This will help the halves stick together. Put the top on, and then pinch the edges together.  Place back on the cookie sheet, and then crimp the edges with a fork.  Brush the top of the PopTart with the egg wash, which will make a beautiful shiny golden brown finish.     Finish by using the fork to do a single punch into the top of the PopTart to let the steam vent while it bakes.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is nice and golden brown.

Let cool slightly, then drizzle with the icing and serve. If you want to make them ahead of time, wait to ice them until shortly before serving.


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