Nom. Nom. Nom. Oh! Excuse me! Didn’t see you there. Alright, so I’m jumping on the candied bacon bandwagon. Don’t call me a sell out. I can’t help myself—the stuff just looks too good to pass up. To show my restraint, however, I only candied one-third of a pound. (Who says I have no self control?) So, this is bacon…covered in jam and dotted with chili flakes…baked in the oven until caramelized and crunchy. This is swoon inducing food. Vegetarians aside, I dare you to say otherwise.
This recipe uses jam as the sugar component—a slight departure from most recipes floating around, which use brown sugar. The result, from a very unscientific comparison to other online candied bacon, looks slightly stickier, but just as mouthwatering. It needs to cook a little longer (to get some of the liquid out of the jam), but you wind up with a thicker candy coating on the bacon. It was well worth the wait.
If you know me, you know love to cook meat with fruit. This candied bacon recipe pairs my mom’s homemade peach jam with strips of meaty, thick-cut bacon.
Mom’s homemade peach jam
Turkish Aleppo chili flakes add a spicy, subtle heat that’s a great balance to the sweetness of the jam.
What can you do with candied bacon?
You mean aside from inhale it the minute it’s cool enough to touch? Gotcha.
This candied bacon would be a fabulous garnish on a bunch of different things. You could chop it up and:
- Sprinkle it on a baby spinach salad
- Mix a handful into a rice dish, like my Toasted Pecan Rice Pilaf
- Use it in ice cream, a la David Lebovitz’s Candied Bacon Ice Cream
That is, again, if it lasts.
Black forest bacon
Now, I’m not usually a fancy bacon kind of gal. I have, however, developed a sudden, acute, and rather embarrassing love affair with the thick-cut bacon you can get in the butcher’s case at Whole Foods. (Don’t even get me going on their Black Forest bacon.)
Thick-cut bacon from Whole Foods
Make this with your favorite kind of bacon. If you don’t use thick-cut bacon, reduce the cooking time a little (and keep an eye on the oven!), as regular bacon will crisp up faster.
Hot & Spicy Candied Bacon
1/3 lb. thick-cut bacon
1/2 cup peach jam
2 tsp. Aleppo chili flakes
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Double line a sheet pan with foil. Put a rack in the pan and set it aside.
Make the peach glaze
Grab your jam. I used peach jam, but you could theoretically use any kind of jam you like. Marmalade might be really good.
Measure it out and put it in a medium-sized bowl. Toss in the Aleppo chili flakes.
Mix well to combine the chili flakes with the jam. If your jam is super thick, zap it in the microwave (or heat it in a small pot over very low heat) for a few seconds to loosen it up.
Glaze the bacon
Grab your bacon. Lay it on the rack in your prepared pan.
Brush each piece with the jam mixture.
Cover each piece of bacon entirely with jam.
Slide the pan into your pre-heated 400 degree oven. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
A note on smoke: Keep a close eye on it while it’s baking. Depending on how long your bacon is in on the first side, some of the jam that drips off onto the foil may start to smoke a little. That should stop once you flip the bacon and glaze the other side.
Now, timing is approximate, and will ultimately depend on how thick your bacon is. You want the bacon to look darker and crisp on the edges, like this:
When the first side is done, yank the pan out of the oven. Flip the bacon over. Brush each piece with a thin layer of jam.
Pop the bacon back into your 400-degree oven for another 10-15 minutes, until it’s done to your liking. You want the bacon to look crisp, and the jam to look glassy and kind of hard, like this:
Yank the pan out of the oven and let it cool. No matter how tempted you may be, resist tasting it until it cools at least a little. Remember…that jam is basically 400-degree sugar.
Gobble it up immediately, or use it in a recipe of your choosing.