Friday, November 28, 2014

Candied Bacon Pecan Pie

Are you all stuffed with Thanksgiving left-overs? Suffering through turkey and cranberry hang-overs? We are too... but, not of the turkey and cranberry variety. Since my two older kids are at their dad's for Thanksgiving, and since we only have a picky toddler to feed besides ourselves, and since I'm 38 weeks pregnant and the thought of having to cook a huge dinner for just the 3 of us... we decided to change it up around here. Lobster is always good for a special meal for two (or 2 1/2 as the case may be). We went with this decadent lobster mac and cheese recipe. Best decision EVER. And, I took the time to make a couple of pies for dessert: pumpkin (of course), and this little gem of my husband's creation... candied bacon pecan pie!

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a recipe on Pinterest for candied bacon. My husband, lover of ALL things bacon, insisted I give it a go. So, I did. That sweet and salty combo. The perfectly caramelized crust on the bacon. HEAVEN. And somehow, between consuming every last bite of it, my husband had the brilliant idea of adding it to my Aunt Betty's infamous pecan pie recipe.

I've since had several people ask for the recipe. So, I figured it was high time I shared it. Here we go...

Start off by candying the bacon. I am rather partial to the thick-cut apple cinnamon bacon that we always buy from Whole Foods. We purchase it by the pound. And, truthfully, you'll only need about 4 pieces out of that pound. But, let's be honest... if you want to HAVE 4 pieces LEFT for the pie... you had better candy that whole pound! Because, if your husband is anything like mine, he will "sample" his way through the rest of it! Start by pre-heating your oven to 350. Meanwhile, mix together 1/2 C packed brown sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Sprinkle on a shallow plate, and dredge both sides of bacon through sugar mixture, making sure it is well-coated.

Place bacon on a slotted baking sheet, and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Start checking after 10 minutes, and keep an eye on the bacon. You will want a nice, caramelized crust. But, you also want the bacon on the soft, non-crispy side as it will cook more once you add it to the pie. 

Once bacon has cooled, chop it up. With 4 pieces of the thick-cut bacon, you should end up with one heaping cup full. 

Set bacon aside, turn up heat on oven to 375, and start assembling my Aunt Betty's pecan pie. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat 3 eggs. To the mixing bowl, add 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 6 Tbs melted butter, 1 C dark corn syrup, and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix until combined. 

I love that handmade cookbook peeking in up there. It was a Christmas gift from my mother a few years back, and it is packed with old family recipes. A true treasure! Anyhow... carefully fold in 1 1/4 C whole pecans.

Pour into a 9" unbaked pie shell. I wish I could say that the pie crust was of my own doing. But, that 38 weeks pregnant thing... yeah. I can barely stand up at this point. So, this year, homemade pie crust was just a bridge too far for this girl! Bake the pie for 20 minutes. 
Remove pie from the oven, and sprinkle the candied bacon over the top. 
Put the pie back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool. Your pie should be cooled, and ready to be devoured in a couple of hours! 
We adored my Aunt Betty, and this pie is the perfect way to remember her each holiday season. And, I would like to think that she would enjoy our twist on her old family favorite!

RIP Aunt Betty.

Candied Bacon Pecan Pie

4 strips thick-cut apple cinnamon bacon (or any other thick-cut variety)
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
(1) 9" pie crust, uncooked
3 eggs
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbs butter, melted
1 C dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C pecan halves

Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle onto a shallow plate. Dredge both sides of bacon in sugar mixture, making sure it is well-coated. Place bacon on slotted baking dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Start checking at 10 minutes. You want bacon to have a nice caramelized crust, but cooked soft (not crispy) as it will continue to cook when added to the pie. Remove bacon from oven; let cool. Once cooled, chop bacon; set aside. Raise oven temperature to 375. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat 3 eggs. To the eggs, add sugar, salt, melted butter, corn syrup, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Gently fold in pecan halves. Pour into pie shell, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle chopped bacon over the top of pie. Return to oven, and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove pie from oven, and let cool for approximately 2 hours. ENJOY!

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1 comment:

Mel said...

Sounds delicious! I may have to try this for my bacon-loving growing teenage boy! Thanks for sharing.