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Caramelized Bacon Jam Tarts



This delectable appetizer is on my hit list for this Christmas Season.  The mixture of bacon and caramelized onions will be the perfect appetizer for any occasion.  Make the jam first and store it in your fridge and it's ready to serve up anytime over the holiday season. And if it's too late for Christmas, try for New Years.

Bacon Jam Tarts
  • 1 pound bacon chopped fine.
  • 2 medium white onions sliced thin
  • 1 full head garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 cup brewed black coffee
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Puff Pastry
  • 1 package puff pastry defrosted
  • egg wash 
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup cheese of your choice (feta, asiago, gorgonzola, blue cheese)
Instructions
  1. Add bacon pieces to a large frying pan and cook on medium heat until almost crisp, browned and cooked, but not too crisp.  Remove cooked bacon and set aside on paper towels to drain. Drain bacon fat reserving 2 tablespoons set aside to brown onions.
  2. Stir in onions to the fat and cook on medium heat, followed by adding the garlic.  Stir occasionally until this mixture is softened and slightly browned (5-7 minutes)
  3. Add coffee, brown sugar, maples syrup, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and the bacon.  Increase the heat slowly bringing to a boil.  Once it's reached the boiling heat, reduce to slow simmer and cook uncovered for up to 60-75 minutes.  The mixture should be syrupy and have a jam-like texture.
  4. Let jam cool and store in small jelly jars and refrigerate. (up to 3 weeks)
Puff Pastry
  1. Roll out your block of pastry into 8 squares and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. With your fingers, roll the corners and edges of each square and crimp with a fork or as a second option, form into 8 tart shells using a round cookie cutter.  
  2. Brush edges with egg wash.  ( 1 yolk with 2 tablespoons water)
  3. Add two tablespoons bacon jam on to the pastry.
  4. Add your favorite cheese which brings out the tanginess flavors and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  5. You can now cover and freeze these until you need them.  They freeze beautifully. 
  6.  Or bake and serve them immediately at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.  Bake until puffed and golden brown.
I prefer to make my jam ahead of time and store it in the fridge in small jars.  Then, when I'm ready to serve this, make sure to have your puff pastry thawed and then you can begin to roll your dough into your tart shells.  This topping can also be used on bruschetta, cheese, and crackers, or canapes. It works wonderfully and guaranteed there will not be leftovers.
I'm sure that you have guessed my table theme for this Christmas.  White birch logs with fresh cedar boughs.  I'm hoping that all of you are pacing yourselves these last few days.  Peace to all of you. 

Serves up to 8 people ( based on 1 each) 

9 comments:

  1. When do you place the unfilled pastry into the tart shells? Is that in step 1 of the pastry instructions?

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  2. I always make the jam first, Step One.
    Step Two...Then you can prepare your pastry shells and fill your tart shell as indicated and add the jam mixture to your shells.

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  3. Thank you. I meant, when do you set the pastry squares into the individual tart pans? In the Puff Pastry instructions (the second group of instructions), it doesn't say anything about the pans.

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    Replies
    1. I think that the tarts are an option. Marg is basically just explaining how to make them as squares
      (as shown in the center photo in the bottom) even though the finished photo shows tarts.

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    2. Thanks for your insight into this question. I've given a second option to the instructions.

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  4. The bacon jam looks wonderful and I plan to make it. I too am a little puzzled about the instructions for making the tarts. The instructions seem to be for making 8 individual square pastries on a parchment lined baking sheet. Please clarify.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry about the confusion. I've now added a second option for instructions to making round tart shells.

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  5. What is the purpose of the egg wash?

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    Replies
    1. It gives the crust a shiny golden brown look. It's a step you can also delete if you wish.

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