M. Andrew Gordon

Bacon-Apple-Cranberry Crisp

In Desserts on December 14, 2009 at 9:01 pm

How good would an apple-cranberry crisp be if it had just a little bit of bacon crumbled over the top, mixing in with brown sugar and walnuts?  The tart flavors of the cranberries melding in with the smokiness of the bacon, tempered by the apple and cinnamon flavors?

The answer is pretty damned good.

More interestingly, I tried to make a bacon whipped cream.  Yeah, that’s right.  I had two thoughts but I wasn’t sure which would work better.

A) a cream that was infused with cooked bacon and included some bacon fat, or

B) a cream that simmered with smoked bacon before being cooled and whipped

Cream A never quite whipped, leading me to suspect that the extra fat included was causing some problems with the property of the cream.  I am not Alton Brown so at this moment I do not know if that logic makes even a remote amount of sense.  Perhaps I will hunt down an answer in the near future.

Cream B also seemed plagued by some whipping issues, but it did finally come together.  And it tasted like bacon.  Not really anything else.  It was a fluffy, creamy bacon.  While it was great fun to try and I think Bacon Whipped Cream has a place in this world, like atop a really good, rich waffle, I think the apple-cranberry-bacon crisp may have been better served with something like a bourbon-infused whipped cream.

Sadly this dish will for now have to share notoriety with the Yeti and el Chupacrabra as being unphotographed.  I took the dish with me to a brunch and left my camera at home.

Apple Cranberry Crisp with Bacon-Walnut Topping

  • 5 or six apples, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup bacon, crumbled
  1. Butter an 8X12X2-inch baking dish and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Combine apples, cranberries, lemon juice, ¼ cup of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, and cinnamon and stir together until well combined.  Let stand for five minutes before pouring into prepared dish.
  2. In another bowl, combine butter, oats, remaining flour and brown sugar, walnuts, and bacon.  Using hands, mix together until small crumbles form.  Spread evenly over apples and cover with foil.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until crisp is golden brown, cranberries have started to burst, and the apples have softened.  Serve with whipped cream.

Bacon Whipped Cream

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 4 slices, thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1. Combine cream and bacon in saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain and let cool completely in refrigerator.  Using electric mixer, beat with sugar until soft peaks form.


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