I don’t know exactly when this happened, but bacon has made its way from our breakfast plates to our post-dinner snack. Who would have thought that pork would be the next big dessert? A few months ago, it would have been my last choice but lately, I’ve found a place in my heart, and my stomach, for Candied Bacon.
My interest in candied Bacon was piqued with each installment of EpicMealTime, and I found my inspiration to make my own with a recent episode of Outrageous Food on the Food Network. The show went on site to The Sticky Pig, a shop that specializes in gourmet handmade candied bacon. The show featured the Pig in a Blanket, a candied bacon with a sweet, spicy and tropical twist according to The Sticky Pig website.
The Sticky Pig is located in California, and because the candies are made from Bacon, they need expedited shipping. A 4-Piece collection of Candied Bacon goes for $20 (at the time of this post), and has to be shipped overnight to guarantee quality and freshness. This gets expensive when you need to ship it across the country, so rather than shell out $10+ per piece of bacon candy, I decided to make my own. After watching Outrageous Food over and over, taking notes, shopping for the ingredients and setting up my web cam for my latest live cast, here’s what I came up with:
I began my journey by making candied Spam. This was my first time buying, touching, cooking with and eating spam. I popped the candied spam pieces into a bowl and went on to the process demonstrated on TV.
The next step was to make the candy filling. I mixed Chili Spiced Pineapples and Chili Spiced Mangos from Trader Joes in a blender along with Pineapple chunks, coconut and dark rum. I took a bowl and mixed brown sugar, chili powder, ground cayenne pepper, cinnamon and coconut together and coated a few strips of bacon with this mixture. I spooned a bit of the candy filling onto the bacon strips and rolled them up and placed them on a baking rack. I stuck them in the over at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. I cut puff pastry into long strips and wrapped the strips around the bacon re-connecting the pastry at the bottom. I sprinkled regular sugar on the candies and put them back in the over for another 15 minutes.
While waiting for the candies to finish baking, I cleaned out the blender and mixed up some pineapple chunks, powdered sugar and Dijon mustard to make a sticky sauce. When the candies were done, I used this sticky sauce to affix a piece of candied spam to the top of the bacon candy as was demonstrated in the show. After a light dusting with powdered sugar, the completed candies looked and tasted as good as they appeared on the show.
The biggest issue I faced was that the filling had a tendancy to leak out of the rolled bacon while it was cooking or being wrapped with the pastry. I’d be interested in others’ thoughts and experiences with this recipe or with attempting some of the other incredible flavor profiles offered by candy bacon creators like The Sticky Pig.
Do you have the general measurements of what you used? I’m would like to try if I can get an initial recipe to use as a starting point.
I don’t. For the filling, I mixed about 1/2 cup to a cup of each fruit (Mango, Pineapple and Fresh pineapple), a hand-full of coconut and maybe 1/4 cup of rum. Blended. If too watery I added the dry ingredients, if thick, added a bit of rum, and tasted it to determine if I was happy with it. For the candy-dust(?) I used about 1/4 cup brown sugar, sprinkled the cayenne, cinnamon and chili powder generously (maybe a tablespoon or so of each) and about half a hand full of coconut.
Experiment a bit and if you do come up with specific measurements or cooking times that work, let me know.
Hope this helps, though keep in mind these measurements are off the top of my head weeks after I last made them.