This year I’ve started sharing dishes that are the go-to recipes in my repertoire. These are dishes that I’ve made more than once that not only pass my own tests but those of friends and family.
Several years ago I found a recipe for Bacon Jam on Not Quite Nigella. The jam is smokey, sweet, tangy, and an altogether luscious condiment. I’ve made my own adjustments, namely increasing the heat. A simple Google search will show you that many have taken the original recipe and made it their own.
My favorite way to serve it is with a soft creamy goat cheese on crisp slices of baguette.
I changed the instructions a bit but the main change I made was to add more heat to the overall recipe. I chose to forgo the Tabasco sauce – it’s not my favorite hot sauce. Instead I added crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper. I reduce the amount of heat when I make this for others – I want them to enjoy a bit of the spiciness without killing their taste buds.
In the final step when processing the jam, I only pulse it a few times until the bacon resembles little pearls maybe slightly larger than tobiko.
The nice thing about this appetizer is everything can be made in advance. Before serving I let the cheese sit out a bit so it’s easily spreadable and I heat up the bacon jam just slightly. I don’t want it hot but I don’t want it cold straight from the refrigerator.
Bacon jam is also a delicious addition to a sandwich or a topping for a burger. I’ve also read that people enjoy it on scrambled eggs for breakfast. However you enjoy it, it is worth the time invested and the smell of bacon lingering in your home for days.Print
Bacon jam is smoky, sweet, tart, and spicy. It’s perfect on toasted baguette with a little soft goat cheese. It’s also great as a condiment for sandwiches or as a topping for a burger. This recipe is adapted from notquitenigella.com
For the bacon jam
1 pound smoked bacon
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional or to taste)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup coffee
1/4 cup apple cider or balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional or to taste)
For the crostini
Soft goat cheese
For the bacon jam
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Line the bacon in a single layer on the baking sheet – it’s okay if the slices overlap a little bit. Bake for 20-22 minutes until the bacon is just starting to crisp (timing will depend on the thickness of your bacon).
Drain the bacon on paper towel then chop into 1″ pieces. Set aside.
Add one tablespoon of the bacon fat to a heavy bottomed pot (reserve the excess fat for another use).
Add the onion and crushed red pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Return the bacon to the pot and add the brown sugar, coffee, vinegar, maple syrup, and cayenne. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Add ¼ cup of water every 25-30 minutes.
After two hours, allow the jam to cool before pulsing in a food processor – about 3-5 pulses for a “caviar” type consistency.
For the toasts
While the jam is cooking, preheat the oven to 300°F.
Slice the baguette on the diagonal in ½” slices and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the toasts are dry but not brown.
Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to serve.
Arrange the toasts, bacon jam, and goat cheese on a serving platter and allow guests to assemble their crostini.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Inactive Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- Category: Appetizer, Spread
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 144.23
- Sugar: 3.15 g.
- Sodium: 365.72 mg.
- Fat: 8.22 g.
- Saturated Fat: 3.82 g.
- Carbohydrates: 8.66 g.
- Fiber: 0.28 g.
- Protein: 8.60 g.
- Cholesterol: 20.55 g.
Keywords: bacon, crushed red pepper, brown sugar, maple syrup, goat cheese