Let’s Hear It For Bacon!

I think I’m going to be apple-licious all week long and share a few more apple recipes, since it is the season. Here’s a recipe from the Michigan Apple Committee that I couldn’t resist sharing because of the unusual topping — let’s here it for bacon! And candied bacon — does it get any more decadent than that?

Sticky Toffee Apple Crisp with Candied Bacon Streusel

½ cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

1 ¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed (divided usage)

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (divided usage)

1 ½ teaspoons apple pie spice (divided usage)

¼ cup bacon, cooked crisp and finely crumbled

½ cup finely chopped walnuts

8 apples, peeled and cored

¾ cup chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; reserve.

Prepare streusel by combining the butter, ¾ cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of the flour and ½ teaspoon of the apple pie spice in a bowl. Work together with fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal; add crumbled bacon and walnuts, blending well. Reserve.

Slice each apple into 8 wedges. Place into a large mixing bowl. Combine remaining 1 cup brown sugar, remaining ¼ cup flour, and remaining teaspoon apple pie spice; sprinkle over the apples, tossing thoroughly to blend. Add chopped dates, distributing evenly, and place mixture into prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle reserved streusel mixture evenly over apple mixture. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until apples are tender and bubbly and streusel is golden brown. Yield: 8 servings.

Note: The addition of bacon to the streusel topping adds an incredible taste sensation of sweet, spiced apples and unexpected salty flavors that are wonderful in this simple but delicious apple crisp – comfort food at its very best!

Recipe, submitted by Janice Elder of Charlotte, North Carolina, was a winner in the 2009 Michigan Apple Committee online ama-teur recipe contest.