Sunday, December 30, 2012

Maple Bacon Jam

Yes, you read that correctly - Maple. Bacon. Jam.  It's one of those culinary concoctions I'm really not sure how I lived without for 30+ years of existence.  Yes, this is a culinary endeavor that takes about 6 hours all in (heck, five of them are in a slow cooker) but your time and effort will most certainly be rewarded with gooey, delicious, bacon-y goodness.

First and foremost, I need to give credit where credit it due.  The inspiration and initial recipe (along with a few suggested modifications) were shared with me by Kayte Eckels, someone who's Facebook updates frequently challenge my culinary creativity and inspire some fabulous collaborative creations.  You get some serious props for this one...

Maple Bacon Jam

1 1/2 pounds of applewood smoked thick- cut bacon, sliced into 1" pieces
1/2 of a medium yellow onion
1 shallot
1 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 small Braeburn or Honeycrisp apple
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup pure grade B maple syrup
3/4 cup brewed coffee (I used a Kenya AA)

- Begin by crisping bacon in a large skillet over medium heat (you want to render out as much fat as possible so give it 15-20 minutes)
- Transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain
- Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan and return to medium heat
- Add diced onion, shallot, garlic and apple and sweat for about 7-8 minutes
- Add brown sugar, vinegar, syrup and coffee to the pan to deglaze and bring to a slow boil
- Add the bacon back to the mixture and transfer to a slow cooker (I highly recommend using a liner)
- Cook uncovered on high for five hours or until the mixture has reduced to a syrupy consistency
- Transfer to a food processor and pulse on high until coarsely chopped
- Store the jam in airtight jars, refrigerated for up to four weeks
- Warm the jam in a saucepan before serving with crackers, toast or as an accompaniment to sandwiches

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