I was inspired to find a few savory jams and, let me tell you, I hit the jackpot with bacon jam.
Maple bacon jam. Caramelized onion and bacon jam. Bourbon caramel bacon jam.
We’re talking bacon jam heaven.
Like me, you probably see savory jams at holiday marts or local fairs, but may not have tried to make them on your own.
Well, now’s the time to try!
They’re really not hard to make—most of the time is spent cooking the bacon and simmering the mixtures down to a syrupy consistency.
Not a lot of hands-on time.
So, if you’re looking for an alternative to sweet jams, look no further.
Maple Bacon Jam
Caramelized Onion and Bacon Jam
Bourbon Caramel Bacon Jam
Simple to Make — Maple Bacon Jam
This simple and savory jam is perfect if you want to dip your toe into making your own bacon jam.
The flavor combination of maple and bacon is a classic and this recipe doesn’t disappoint.
When I initially found this recipe, it was on Becca Piastrelli’s website. However, it appears Becca has changed course and is focusing on non-recipe interests now. With that in mind, her recipe is reprinted at the end of this page. It’s too good not to share.
Five things to know about the Maple Bacon Jam recipe:
- The most difficult thing about making this Maple Bacon Jam is cooking the bacon. Seriously. That’s as hard as it gets. So, if you can cook bacon, you can easily make this jam.
- Depending on the bacon you use (I used a thicker applewood smoked bacon), you may want to remove all but a few tablespoons of fat. The recipe calls for you to leave all the fat in the pan when you cook the shallots and onion, but I had way too much fat. More on that later.
- The recipe calls for you to cook the onion and shallots until softened, which for me was about 5 minutes. Your cooking time may vary so just continue to monitor and check the texture of the onion and shallots.
- My jam took about 2 ½ hours to get to a syrupy consistency which I think was due to me not draining off the majority of the fat before cooking the onion and shallots and adding the other ingredients. I ended up draining the fat at the end of the cooking process, prior to putting the jam into the jars.
- I used a food processor instead of a hand blender to blend my jam. I pulsed it in the food processor until I got the consistency I wanted.
If you’re looking for an easy and impressive way to step up your jam game, this is your go-to option.
Maple Bacon Jam Recipe (Becca Piastrelli)
- 1.5 pounds thick cut, grass-fed fresh bacon
- 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 shallots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 C. water
- 1/3 C. balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 C. maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp. mustard (preferably Dijon)
- 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the bacon in a deep pan over medium heat until brown and crispy.
- Add in onion and shallots (keep that fat in there!) and cook until softened.
- Add in the balsamic, maple syrup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly coated.
- Add in the 1/2 C. water and bring to a boil.
- Cover and let simmer for 1-2 hours or until it becomes a syrup-like consistency.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
- Once cooled, use a hand blender to blend until chunky and spreadable.
- Pour into sealable jar and store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Easy to Elevate — Caramelized Onion and Bacon Jam
Source: Good Housekeeping
The flavor boost of adding caramelized onions to bacon jam puts this recipe in our Easy to Elevate category. While the recipe itself is no harder to make than the Maple Bacon Jam, the sweet caramelization on those onions will make you glad you tried this version.
Five things to know about the Caramelized Onion and Bacon Jam recipe:
- This recipe came together the quickest of the three for me, despite it saying it would take an hour and 50 minutes.
- You need to know how to properly clean your leeks. It’s simple, but it’s a necessary step to remove the dirt. Slice the leeks into thin coins. Place them in a bowl of cold water, swish them around and let them sit for a while so that the dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl. You may need to repeat this process to remove all the dirt. Once clean, remove them from the water and dry them with a paper towel.
- I live in a dry climate, so my brown sugar tends to harden. If your brown sugar has hardened, you can loosen it up by placing it in the microwave for a short time (start with 15 seconds). Be sure you use a microwave safe bowl and be careful when removing it from the microwave as brown sugar can heat up quickly.
- It only took about 25-30 minutes for my onions and leeks to caramelize, not the 50 minutes stated on the recipe.
- It took less than 10 minutes for my onions to hit the very soft stage after I added the balsamic vinegar, sugar, oregano, nutmeg, bacon, and black pepper. Just keep an eye on them.
I won’t lie…the smell of the balsamic vinegar during the cooking process was potent and I was wary that the end product would be balsamic heavy in flavor.
I was very wrong. The final product is mellow and quite addicting!
Made to Impress — Bourbon Caramel Bacon Jam
Let’s first talk about Julie Espy’s blog name—Bread Booze Bacon. Three of my favorite things when it comes to cooking. The name alone virtually guarantees I’ll be testing more of her recipes, so stay tuned for more yummy goodness.
While I’m not a big fan of bourbon in my cocktail life, I understand how the combination of it with caramel sauce and bacon would be a hit.
Four things to know about the Bourbon Caramel Bacon Jam recipe:
- Because I always return from the store missing a key ingredient, I used ½ yellow and ½ white onion for this recipe. That’s what I had on hand, so that’s what I used.
- I didn’t want to buy an entire bottle of bourbon caramel syrup, so I used Julie’s alternate instructions to replace the store-bought bourbon caramel syrup with bourbon, brown sugar, and maple syrup—all things I had in my pantry.
- Watch your garlic like a hawk once you add it to the bacon fat. Garlic can go from a delicious addition to a recipe-killing ingredient if it burns.
- Once all the ingredients were added to the pot, my jam only took about 10 minutes to reach the syrup-like consistency, not the 30 minutes noted in the recipe. This may vary for you, so keep your eye on it.
The Bourbon Caramel Bacon Jam was by far the family favorite in our house. I’ll be spreading this on EVERYTHING!