A fabulous online retailer called Pig of the Month recognizes that, because in addition to the expected pig products like sausage, barbecue, and ribs, they also feature some magnificent dessert options.
I was lucky enough to receive a box full of goodies, including things like dark chocolate almond toffee, candied pecans, bacon cheddar caramel popcorn, frittle, and chocolate-covered bacon. The frittle, a unique combination of peanut brittle and fudge, was my favorite--crunchy and nutty and salty, yet with a degree of richness to it that took me by surprise. Everything was well-made and nicely packaged, and I look forward to trying more of their products! If you're curious too, be sure to visit Pig of the Month and use the code "feed me" at checkout to get 15% off your purchase.
Inspired by this glut of bacon-y gifts, I decided to try my hand at a maple bacon cheesecake. I used my own reliable cheesecake recipe and added a touch of maple extract. I incorporated the bacon into the crust, but if I make it again (and I probably will), I'd like to make the overall effect scream "BACON!" a little bit more loudly. I don't want to destroy the integrity of the smooth and creamy cheesecake, but as it is, the bacon flavor is lacking. I suppose a crumble of the porky stuff on top wouldn't hurt, but do ya'll have any other suggestions?
Syrup 'n Swine Cheesecake (alternatively Oinkin' and Oozin' Cheesecake)
Makes 2 8-inch cheesecakes or 1 10-inch cheesecake
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 slices bacon, cooked crispy, patted dry, and crumbled or finely-chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 12 ounces sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the bottoms of 2 8-inch springform pans or 1 10-inch springform pan with 3 or 4 layers of heavy-duty foil.
To make the crust, combine ingredients and blend until a uniform dough is made.
Spread to the edges of the pan(s), prick all over with a fork, then bake 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy; beat in the sugars until light and well-blended.
Slowly beat in the eggs, then fold in the sour cream and extracts.
Pour into the prepared crust(s), then place the foil-wrapped pan(s) in a large, shallow roasting pan.
Place in the oven and add about 1/2 inch of hot water.
Bake for 60-75 minutes, until the cheesecake is firm around edges but still slightly jiggly in the center.
Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes to an hour longer.
Place the cheesecake on a rack to cool to room temperature. Remove the pan sides, then refrigerate at least 6 hours but preferably overnight before slicing and serving.
**Disclaimer: Though I received products from Pig of the Month free of charge, these opinions are entirely my own.