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Apple Bacon tartlets, any thoughts?

tracylee Dec 7, 2008 11:36 AM

So, I've got a Christmas dinner party to go to Wednesday night with about 20 women, and I need to take something. I have a bunch of apples sitting on the counter that I want to use.

I'm thinking....

Lining mini-muffin tins with pie-dough (blind bake or not?)

Chop up and cook some applewood smoked bacon, pour off the fat.
Sautee peeled, cored, sliced and diced apples in the pan.

Mix the apples and bacon, put it in the pie-shells, then top with grated gouda (since I have that in the fridge) and bake.

Any thoughts?
Should I add herbs? I have fresh sage still in the garden.

  1. maria lorraine Dec 16, 2008 03:18 AM

    This reminds me of a New York Times article published a few years ago, titled "Who Put Pancetta in the Apple Tart?

    It was about the pastry chef Della Gossett who wanted to add salt to dessert in interesting ways and thought of bacon and apples. Her pancetta/bacon apple tart uses tiny cubes of sauteed pancetta the size of peppercorns. BTW, Gosset freezes the pancetta so it's easier to cut and "cooks the bacon in the sweet, buttery juices left in the pan after the apples are caramelized. To keep it Italian, she serves the tart with toasted pine nuts and a light, airy mascarpone ice cream."

    More here:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

    1. tracylee Dec 11, 2008 02:04 PM

      Thank you all for your great suggestions! Sorry I haven't gotten back to replying, but between work and the holiday season and all....

      OK, first off, these definitely take more than an hour to make. I managed to get them in the oven last night at 5:45, the party started at 6. Aaaack!

      I sauteed the bacon, poured off most of the fat, put the diced apples in the pan with a bit of brown sugar and cooked those down.

      I lined the mini-muffin tins with pie dough, rolled thin.
      Mixed the apples and bacon together, placed a bit in each tin and topped with a bit of shredded gouda, then popped in a 350 degree oven, on a pre-heated sheet pan for 20 minutes.

      Unfortunately, I was late enough to the party that most people had filled their plates, but those who did try them loved them! The crusts were cooked just right, thankfully!

      To your responses:
      1. LisaPA: Yep, used some brown sugar, on the apples, wasn't sure how sticky it would get in the bacon
      2. greygarious:Personally, I'm not fond of onions or curry, but I did take your advice on not blind baking and using the sheet pan to crisp the bottoms. Thanks!
      3. essvee: great idea - maybe next time when I start way earlier!
      4. Food Tyrant: next time I'll take the extra day and cook the bacon slower
      5. Tom P: I saw that in my search for ideas, thanks!
      6. Erika L: that sounds yummy, maybe next time I do it for a more sit-down dinner, there was alot of walking around last night, and I'd hate to see caramel dripping on the hostesses carpet! That would be a good idea for a larger tart also.
      7. Bat Guano: I didn't have any cheddar on hand, but I agree that's the natural choice. I had a pound of gouda in the fridge from the last wine.woot.com cheese offering, so I wanted to use that instead of buying more cheese this time.

      Thanks to all of you for reading and supporting my experiment!

      5 Replies
      1. re: tracylee
        Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 02:32 PM

        Thanks for reporting back -- sounds yummy indeed! I think the gouda sounds preferrable to cheddar, but maybe that's just me.

        Can you write out what you did exactly?

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          tracylee Dec 11, 2008 03:38 PM

          ran around frantically? *grins*

          Sure, Ruth!

          OK, here goes...
          1. I started with the pie crust, used the flour paste recipe from Joy of Cooking. Then put it in the fridge in plastic to rest.

          2. I took 4 slices of bacon, regular smoked, since I couldn't find anything fancy at the store, and diced it. I put it in a sautee pan and cooked it until crispy at medium heat. I took out the bacon to drain on a paper plate and poured off most of the fat.

          3. I peeled, cored, and roughly chopped two large apples. I put them in the sautee pan with 1/2 cup of light brown sugar or so, left the heat on medium, and cooked, stirring, for probably 20 minutes.

          4. I grated up about 1 1/2 cups of gouda

          5. I lightly sprayed my mini-muffin tins with vegetable oil from a mister

          6. I turned the oven on to 350 with a baking sheet on the middle rack

          7. I took the pie crust out of the fridge and not-so-successfully rolled it out. And of course the later I was running, the worse it got. I really need to work on my pie dough skills. Anyway, I used a ring cutter, about 2 1/2" in diameter to cut out thin rounds, which I put into my mini-muffin tins, smoothing out any cracks.

          8. I stirred the bacon back into the apples and took them off the heat.

          9. I put a small spoonful of the bacon and apples in each of the tartlet shells, and topped with a pinch of the grated cheese. They don't hold much.

          10. I put the muffin tin in the oven on the baking sheet, and cooked for 20 minutes. The cheese was beginning to brown by then, and the crusts were cooked, but not yet browned.

          11. I took them out of the oven and popped them out on to a serving tray with a fork, covered it with foil, grabbed my purse and coat, and drove as fast as I could to the party!

          Hope that helps!

          1. re: tracylee
            tracylee Dec 11, 2008 05:22 PM

            Oh, and I realized after I left the house this evening, that this recipe would make about 36 tartlets. I stopped at 24, but had plenty of filling and dough leftover.

            1. re: tracylee
              Ruth Lafler Dec 11, 2008 10:09 PM

              Thanks so much, tracylee! It sounds like the apples were cooked until they were quite soft. Is that right?

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                tracylee Dec 12, 2008 12:10 PM

                yes, I suppose for more texture, they could be left uncooked before putting them in the tart shells.

        2. Bat Guano Dec 10, 2008 11:07 AM

          Do you have any cheddar? Seems like that would be a more natural pairing with both the apples and the bacon than Gouda.

          1. e
            Erika L Dec 10, 2008 07:58 AM

            One of the best desserts I've ever had is caramelized apple pie with candied bacon strips on the side. So maybe a little dollop of (salted) caramel sauce in each shell, or a pitcher on the side?

            I would bake the shells blind, to make sure they're crisp.

            1. Tom P Dec 10, 2008 01:21 AM

              There might be something in this recipe to give you ideas with yours:

              http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

              1. f
                Food Tyrant Dec 9, 2008 09:48 PM

                How about slow braising the bacon so that it is soft and melts in yourmouth rather than frying it. Takes an additional day but what the heck.

                And I would blind bake the tart shells.

                1. e
                  essvee Dec 7, 2008 01:40 PM

                  Sounds brill. You also could make a royale with eggs and milk, whisk the cheese into that, and pour over the apples and bacon, get a quiche-y thing going.

                  1. greygarious Dec 7, 2008 12:35 PM

                    I like your idea, and would add onion or shallot that had been sauteed till golden in the bacon fat. Not so far as to caramelize, so the oven heat won't scorch them. You could remove half the sauteed onion, then add garam masala or curry powder to the remainder in the pan and sautee another minute (this greatly improves the spices, mellowing and melding them), so as to have two different variations on the tartlets.

                    I wouldn't blind bake since the dough would want to shrink down the sides of the tin.
                    Put a baking stone or an inverted sheet pan into the oven before preheating it to 375. Baking the muffin tins on that will give the crust a boost and help the bottoms brown nicely.

                    1. l
                      LisaPA Dec 7, 2008 12:30 PM

                      My thought is "yum!" Maybe you could add some brown sugar when you're cooking the bacon to get it kind of glazed?

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