It’s no secret that I kind of have a love affair with the combination of sweet and salty together, especially if that salty sweet combo happens to contain bacon. The ultimate snack food for me is Maple Bacon Caramel Corn. I can scarf down Chocolate Covered Bacon like it’s nobody’s business and I love vanilla ice cream drizzled with Bacon Caramel Sauce. In fact, it’s that very caramel sauce that has brought me to this creation here today. Since it’s probably poor form to eat it straight out of a jar, I have to find socially acceptable ways to transport this fabulousness to my mouth.
This tart was met with skepticism by my testers who in this case, were my father, step-mother and siblings. Bacon? For dessert? I urged them to just keep an open mind and go with it. As everyone tentatively took their first bites, second bites… I waited. Bite after bite, they liked it! My step-mother who doesn’t even like caramel in the first place, ate her entire piece commenting how good it was so that right there is a testament to the old adage that bacon makes everything better. I garnished mine with a bit of finely chopped, crispy bacon around the edges but that’s totally optional. If you’re not down with bits of bacon in your dessert, you’ll still get that hint of smokiness in the caramel itself. This tart is sweet, smoky and just a little salty. The perfect combination.
*This post may be linked to some or all of these awesome parties!
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This tart has a tender crust filled with sweet, smooth, and a little smoky caramel.
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 2 cup sugar
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and mix just until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Next, add 2 cups flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, mix just until incorporated. If the dough is very sticky, add remaining flour if necessary.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, form into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 10-inch circle. Lay into a 9-inch tart pan and trim any excess dough with a knife. Freeze crust until very firm.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Completely cover the crust with a large piece of aluminum foil and place pie weights, dry beans or uncooked rice into the crust. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and weights. The tart shell should be light but can be baked an additional 5-10 minutes for a golden color, if desired. Cool completely.
- In a large skillet, fry the bacon until very crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Add the cream to the bacon pan and let stand for at least 30 minutes and until it reaches room temperature.
- In a large heavy bottom pot, melt the sugar over medium-high heat until the sugar melts. Cook until it becomes a deep amber color, swirling the pan to cook evenly.
- Add the butter and stir it in until melted.
- Pour in the heavy cream (the mixture will foam) and whisk until the mixture becomes a smooth sauce. Lumps may form, if so whisk until they dissolve.
- Remove from heat, stir in salt and let cool slightly.
- Pour the caramel into the tart shell and gently tilt the tart pan to evenly distribute. Refrigerate until caramel is firm.
- If desired, very finely chop 1-2 slices of the bacon and sprinkle around the edge of the tart. The remaining bacon can be reserved for another use. (Or just eaten, which is what I usually do.)
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes