An Alsation Tart . . . Got Bacon?

Monday 27 October 2014

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I think Bacon has to be high on the list of just about everyone's favourite foods, don't you?   I know we love the stuff.   I have often thought I would like to stop eating meat altogether . . .  but I could never give up bacon or a good steak.   Those two things are heaven to me.

"Nothing is quite as intoxicating as the smell of bacon frying . . . "
~James Beard 


I was recently sent this lovely cookbook for review, entitled BACON, recipes for curing, smoking and eating by Theresa Gilliam, photography by EJ Armstrong.   If you are a fan of bacon, then this is the book for you!

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With  instructions for curing and smoking bacon at home,  four glorious chapters taking you from dawn to dark, and beautiful photography, this book helps take the love of bacon to the next level!   Needing no special ingredients or equipment and with not much more than a little time, patience and guidance (that you will find in this book) you can be only a week away from enjoying your greatest culinary endeavor.

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Included are concise instructions for curing and smoking your own bacon.

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Clarifying bacon fat and purifying it so that you can use it in your baking recipes . . .

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Can you just imagine the flavour of pastry created by using clarified bacon fat?  I know!  Mmmmm . . .

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I can remember once upon a time, back in the 1980's, saving and clarifying my bacon fat over a long period of time until I had enough to make my MIL's Gingersnaps.  Best darn gingersnaps I have ever eaten.  Sigh . . .

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Included are all possible methods of cooking bacon, from on top of the hob to par cooking in the microwave and everything in between.  And the recipes  . . .  wow, they take you through every hour of the day . . .  from

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Bacon and Cheddar Scones in the morning . . .

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Served with Bloody Mary's . . .  to gravies and cornbread . . .  sandwiches, salads, soups and tarts, main courses . . . jam . . . hors d'oeuvres . . .

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Mmmm . . .  Candied Bacon S'Mores . . . .

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Bacon Buttermilk Caramels . . . .

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Bacon, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies . . . . oh my great giddy aunt!

If bacon is your thing . . .  then this is YOUR cookbook!

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I have always been a sucker for anything in a pastry.   This Alsation Tart in the book caught my eye from the get go.   I just had to make it.  The photograph of it had me salivating.

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I had everything in the house to make it right away and so I did.   With easy to follow instructions, I have to say  . . .  it was simple and fairly quick to put together, with fabulous results.   This became a favourite right off the bat.  We could not put it down.  It was practically inhaled.

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*Alsatian Tart*
Serves makes one 25 by 30 cm tart
(Approximately 10 by 12 inches)  

This is a simple tart that is delicious with caramelized onions, bacon and cheese.   Perfect for a lunch or light supper when served with a salad, or cut into smaller bites and served as a party bite over the holidays.  

2 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TBS white wine
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
125g of creme fraiche (about 1/2 cup)
8 rashers of bacon, par-cooked (see below) and chopped
20g of grated gruyere cheese (1/4 cup)
20g of grated cheddar cheese (1/4 cup)
egg wash made with 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp of milk or water  

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Preheat the oven to 00(C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.   Add the onions, salt and black pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and golden brown.  This will take about 15 minutes.   Add the wine and stir gently to release any flavourful browned bits from the bottom of the pan.   Simmer until the wine is evaporated, about 2 minutes.  (I did not have any white wine, but I did have calvados, which is what I used.  It worked very well.)  Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a 25cm by 20 cm rectangle.  (10 by 12 inches) 

Transfer the rolled out dough to the prepared baking sheet.  Spread with the creme fraiche evenly over the pastry, leaving a one inch space all the way around the edge.    Sprinkle evenly with the chopped bacon and the onions.   Top with the grated cheeses.   Fold over the exposed edges of the dough, pressing the corners to help seal the edges into place, forming a 1 inch border.    Brush this border with the prepared egg wash.

Bake until the tart is golden brown and the bacon is crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Cut into 6 to 8 slices and serve hot.

Note - to par ook the bacon, place two layers of paper kitehcn toweling on a microwave safe plate.  Lay the desired amount of bacon in a single layer on top of the paper towel.  Cover with two additional sheets of paper.  Microwave for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or 30 seconds per rasher.

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With over 171 pages and full colour photographs, this book is guaranteed to please the foodie and bacon lover in any family.  Finally a cookbook that understands that bacon isn't just for breakfast and burgers, with recipes for any hour and any situation.

As it says on the back cover . . . NO APOLOGIES, NO EXCUSES, IT'S BACON, IT'S GOOD.

BACON, recipes for during, smoking and eating, by Theresa Gilliam
Photographs by EJ Armstrong
Available October 2014
Published by Jacquie Small LLP
Hard Covered
ISBN 978 - 1 - 909342 - 78 - 1
UK £25.00

Many thanks to Jaqui Small LLP for sending me this book for review.
Although I was sent this book to review, any and all opinions are my own.  If I didn't already have it, this would be going on my Christmas List this year. 


  1. Oh yes:)
    We love the flavor bacon adds to many dishes..I prefer it in a doesn't feel as guilty as eating a whole rasher:)

  2. I love the way your mind works Monique!! xx

  3. We would love this! Looks so good! xoxo

  4. Like the look of this Marie, similar flavours to Quiche Lorainne, but not so "much" of it!

    Glad there were no real Alsatians in it though....they're not in season at the moment ;o)

  5. haha Sandie. I don' tthink I would like an "Alsatian" tart! lol eww. This is nice because as you say, it's thin and it's crisp. Perfect appie for with drinks I would think! xx

  6. This looks amazing! May be my new Christmas party appetizer this year???

  7. Darlene it would be lovely cut into little squares and served with drinks! xx


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