A Bacon Dessert

Zingerman’s 4th Annual Camp Bacon is coming soon and to help get everyone prepared, we’re sharing tasty excerpts and recipes from Ari’s book, Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon

Apple (or Pear) Bacon Crisp

Strange as it sounds to some, bacon really can beget a fine dessert. As someone at the Zingeman’s Roadhouse said when we had this on our dessert list a while back, “You might think bacon and apples sounds strange for dessert, but it’s basically like serving pork chops with applesauce.” Made sense to me. And for folks who love their bacon, it’s a very good way to get a bit more into their day.

The crisp is a great autumn dessert and would be excellent for both eating and engaging guests in conversation at holiday meals. You can do it with pears instead of apples, with equally good results. In truth, I almost like it better that way, but they’re both darned good! Take your pick, or, if you’re entertaining, do one of each and let your guests decide.


  • ¾ cup golden raisinsapples-small
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 6 ounces sliced Arkansas peppered or long pepper bacon (about 3 to 4 slices), diced
  • ¾ cup Muscovado (or other natural dark) brown sugar
  • 9 to 12 ripe apples or pears (about 2½ pounds)
  • 1¼ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

For the streusel:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch piecespear-cmyk
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • ¼ cup Muscovado (or other natural dark) brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Pour the bourbon over the raisins, mix well and set aside to soak for a minimum of 15 minutes, on up to a couple of hours (longer is better to my taste, but if you forget to do it ahead the shorter time will work just fine).
  3. Dredge the bacon in ¾ cup of brown sugar and lay on a foil-lined
  4. baking sheet with a lip. Sprinkle any of the remaining brown sugar over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until very dark brown, crisp and caramelized. Carefully remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. While bacon is cooking, slice the fruit (skin on) directly into a 9-inch round pan. After you’ve covered the bottom of the pan, sprinkle on some of the raisins, then a bit of the bourbon and the cinnamon. Add another layer of fruit, then the remaining raisins and cinnamon. Sprinkle the balance of the bourbon over the top and dot with the butter. (The sliced fruit may pile up over the lip of the pan, but it will settle while baking.) Sprinkle the candied bacon pieces evenly over the top.
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
  7. Make the streusel by combining the butter, flour, salt and sugars in a mixer or food processor. The mixture should be crumbly and somewhat dry. Sprinkle over the top of the apple mixture in the pan and pat down lightly. Go around the edges, pressing the streusel into the fruit to seal.
  8. Place the dish in the oven uncovered and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the juices are bubbling up around the edges and the streusel is nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.
  9. Serve warm, with optional ice cream or gelato.

Serves 6 to 8 for dessert.


See you at camp!