I’ve been making pig candy for years now. It’s a simple, delicious way to prepare bacon by covering it with brown sugar and a touch of cayenne, then baking/smoking it until the bacon is crunchy and the brown sugar has coated it. It’s just addictive stuff!
I was thinking this year of fixing candied pecans. You know the ones I mean… the pecans with cinnamon and sugar and egg whites that make them crunchier and, also, addictive. This gave me the idea to try a new version of pig candy, using the typical brown sugar and cayenne, but starting with an egg white base to give the bacon a new texture.
I took 4 egg whites and beat them until they got a bit frothy, then added about half a cup of brown sugar, and bit of cayenne. I was afraid I’d put in too much sugar, as the egg whites got a bit heavy, if that makes any sense. I kept at it, though, and the egg whites started getting firmer and firmer, until I got stiff peaks when removing the beaters.
At this point, I put a cooling rack in a cookie sheet and sprayed some PAM on it to try to keep things from sticking. I took bacon slices and dredge them, one at a time, through the egg whites and arranged in a layer on the cooling rack. I then added a good sprinkling of brown sugar to the bacon, adding about 1 cup of brown sugar to 3/4 pound of bacon, right on top of the egg white mixture.
I put the cookie sheet in the oven at 250 degrees F. You may notice two things here: 1. I put the bacon in a cold oven, and 2. I put it in the oven instead of cooking it outside. Both are true. The cold oven I do only because Alton Brown taught me, via Good Eats, to bake bacon by starting with a cold oven. I just do it. And I used the oven because I don’t have a cookie sheet and cooling rack that fits on my Big Green Egg right now. I should have just cooked it outside, but I was being lazy, I can admit it!
I baked the bacon, turning every 15 minutes for evenness, for about an hour at 250, then another 30 minutes at 350 to crisp up the bacon some more.
What was the verdict?
I loved it. My wife wasn’t sure at first, as she loves regular pig candy, but she finally agreed that this was a better form of pig candy, with the egg whites giving a really interesting texture to the pig candy. This will be the preferred method at the McAdams house for pig candy from now on!
Serve all by itself and pass it around, or match with red pear and English cheddar. Great with a big Scottish ale or wee heavy!