Step 1: Clean Your Kitchen!
Go ahead. I'll wait.
Step 2: Assemble Your Hardware
- Food scale
- Plastic cutting board
- Measuring cup
- Small bowl
- Food processor
- Food scale
- Round cookie cutter
- Rolling pin
- Measuring cup
- Cupcake tin
- Pie weights
- Mason Jar
Step 3: Assemble Ingredients
- Egg yolks
- Bacon extract
- Bacon Fat
- Bacon Fat
Step 4: Chop Bacon
When done, place bacon into pan, place cutting board and knife into sink, and wash your hands.
From this point on, you should not come into contact with any raw bacon.
Go ahead. I'll wait.
Step 5: Cook Bacon
Step 6: Separate Bacon From Grease
At this point, you need to decide If you want to make the bacon extract. The extract is optional for the filling, but takes at least a week to fully render the flavors.
If you are not making the extract, place the mason jar in the fridge to solidify and skip the next step.
Now would be a great time to taste the bacon to make sure it is delicious.
Step 7: Make Bacon Extract
After a week, scoop out the fat that is sitting on top and store for later use.
Strain the remaining liquid into a separate bowl and store for later use.
Any vodka is fine. There is no reason to use anything expensive. You can see the high-class brand I am using.
If you buy maple smoked bacon, this will produce a maple bacon extract which is amazing in cupcakes, but I find that the maple flavor is too strong for a cream pie.
Step 8: Combine Dry Ingredients for Dough
If you are off by a few grams, here, it's not a big deal. You might need to add more water later.
Now would be a good time to discuss measurements. Get a food scale to measure all dry ingredients by weight. Especially for flour, if you measure by volume (mL, cups, etc), then environment (humidity) and style (dipping vs spooning vs sifting) can affect how much flour actually ends up in your food.
Also, I use metric units in all of my recipes. Mostly, because I can never remember the cups, oz, quarts, etc conversions. Metric is just easier.
Step 9: Get Your Fat On
For this recipe, I used the bacon fat left over from the extract process, which yielded 70g. I used butter for the remaining 43g.
If you chose not to make the extract, then retrive the bacon fat from mason jar you put in the fridge.
If you chose, however, to make the extract, then I'm assuming that you already had a jar brewing in your fridge from last week.
Of course, if you really want to make the extract and don't have any leftover fat, I suppose you'll just have to cook up a new batch of bacon. You poor thing.
Step 10: Incorporate Fat Into Flour
Step 11: Add Water to Flour
Step 12: Pulse Into Dough
When done, place in an airtight bag and store in the fridge.
Step 13: Combine Dry Ingredients for Filling
To start, combine the dry ingredients in a pan and whisk to combine.
Step 14: Add Milk
You want this to become smooth and completely incorporate all of the ingredients together. If you add the milk too quickly, it will splash around and be harder to combine.
Yes, you could try to go healthy and use skim milk, but it really won't taste the same. Besides, after the sugar, bacon, and bacon fat, why are you trying to make this healthy? Don't ruin a good thing. In fact, the only time it is acceptable to use skim milk is if you did not have any whole milk in the house and couldn't motivate yourself to get off your butt and go to the store. Yeah, I get that. It's still not the same, though, and I bet you'd feel pretty guilty about it later.
Step 15: Stir Until Thickened
This takes about 15m, during which time, you need to be constantly stirring. If you walk away, the mixture will thicken unevenly, leaving pockets of thickness. If this happens, and you catch it early, you can fix it, but you have to work quickly. So make sure you do whatever it is you need to do before you start.
Step 16: Separate and Beat Egg Yolks
Beat the yolks until smooth.
Step 17: Temper Eggs Into Mixture
When combined, continue to heat on medium-low for another minute, stirring occasionally.
This is done to prevent the eggs from heating too quickly. If you were to add the eggs directly into the pan, they would scramble and you would end up with a lumpy custard, which is not yummy.
I read a recipe once that instructed to add the hot liquid a teaspoon at a time. That is lunacy and a waste of time. A big ol' spoon will work just fine.
Step 18: Add Butter
Ok, so you don't have to cut the butter up. If you're the sort of person who likes waiting around stirring a pot waiting for the butter to melt, then by all means, drop a 31g chunk of butter.
OH, and don't use margarine! Get yourself some actual butter. The stuff from cows. It's creamy and delicious.
Step 19: Add BACON!
Add to custard:
15mL Bacon extract (optional)
55g Bacon (chopped, cooked)
Mix to combine.
Step 20: Form Pie Shells
Use a cookie cutter to cut into circles approx 11cm (4.5in) in diameter.
Gently press dough circle into cupcake tin. There is no need to grease the pan.
Gently press a square of parchment paper into the formed shell.
Add enough pie weights to cover the bottom.
I have used aluminum foil in the past, but find that the creases tend to push into the sides of the shell, making small holes.
You may also use a manual crank pasta machine to roll out the dough if you want to ensure a consistent thickness, or if rolling pins make you uncomfortable.
Oh, notice all the excess flour all over the place? No? That's because this dough is awesome!
Step 21: Bake Shells
About 5m before they are done, remove the pie weights and put the shells back in the oven. This will ensure that the bottoms cook.
Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.
Caution: The pie weights will be HOT. You should be able to remove them by grasping the corners of the parchment paper and gently pulling.
Step 22: Fill 'Em Up
Step 23: Garnish With Bacon
If you have leftover filling, you could probably put this filling into a small ceramic ramekin bowl, top it with some sugar, get out your torch, and make a bacon Crème Brûlée. Mmmmmm ... Brûlée.