Some things are just beautiful on the outside; like Kim Kardashian. Other things, like this tian, have more depth. It is beautiful inside AND out.
Crisp seasonal apples are perfectly paired with savory sweet potatoes. That stunning flavor combination is baked in a cast iron skillet to perfection and topped with plum glazed bacon. I quite literally can not think of anything that sounds more heavenly right now. Except for the obvious literal definition of the word heaven. That might LITERALLY be more heavenly. So debates about the definition of a word that is permanently set in the dictionary aside, this dish is heavenly. Or scrumptious, delicious, crave-able, yummy , delectable and more (if you prefer those descriptors).
There are certain ingredients that scream fall. My dear friend, Trace Barnett, and I had a lovely conversation about iconic fall ingredients. Trace and I became friends while filming Food Network Star. And well, we pretty much talk two to five times a week, sometimes for hours. I love him just below my family, naps and wine. Oh, and my dogs, Mexican food, This is Us, reading, painting… okay, whatever, I love the kid. Got it? Anyway, after a short convo, we nailed down a few ingredients that we wanted to make “together”. And by together, I mean not even on the same body of land (Me=Hawaii, Trace=Alabama). But we each decided that we were going to make something with apples. plums, sausage, bacon and sweet potatoes. No need to use ALL ingredients in your dish. He made 3, I made 1. But I got other shit to do yo. So I made this lovely dish and he made Sweet Potato and Ricotta Pancakes topped with a Bacon Maple Syrup. You can of course go to his page The Bitter Socialite for inspiring fall ideas; not just for the kitchen, but also for beautiful decor.
Then of course, we had to solidify our lack of togetherness with online faux togetherness. You can see our attempt at joining our days together here.
Okay, back to recipes. Yum. Yum. And hells yeah. I had a friend message me after I posted a pic in my Instagram story and ask if there was more. She and her husband then came over for dinner and the four of us devoured this. There were zero complaints. This is not only because we were so busy stuffing our mouths that talking would have been an illogical waste of time; but it was also because this was damn good. It is perfect for lunch, dinner or as a side. And although I have not tested this theory, I am pretty damn sure that it would be insane with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream of top. Yeah, you’re welcome. Now I am kicking myself for not giving this a go. But there is always next time. Because I WILL be making this again.
I did a Messy Life, Messy Kitchen for the recipe. So you can watch that on my YouTube Chanel or well, below. I will have the written instructions and ingredients below the video. Enjoy! (Hopefully)
2-3 sweet potatoes
3-4 honey crisp apples (granny smith would also be a good fit)
1 lbs thick cut bacon
1- 1/2 cups plum jelly/jam
1 1/2 tbsp butter
3-4 sprigs rosemary
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper (more to taste)
A lot of the imagery is in the video, so if you do not want to listen to me ramble, just kinda click through.
1. Lay your bacon on top of a piece of tin foil on a baking sheet.
2. Spread your plum jam with a spoon over the bacon. Try to get it all covered, but we are not striving for perfectionism here. (Like this is the one time in my life you will ever hear me say that, haha.)
3. Bake the bacon in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-22 minutes. You want it to start to crisp. But we are going to cook it off a little more at the end, so don’t over do it. My bacon cooked 18-20 minutes. 🙂
4. While your bacon is cooking, you get to slice your sweet potatoes and apples. If you want to use a mandolin, you can. I did mine by hand, because, why not? But you are looking for half moon shapes (reference video). Your slices should be less than 1/4″ thick. More thinner, more better… if only my ass would listen to that grammatically comical phrase. (Remove the bacon from the pan, carefully and transfer the fat to a small bowl.
5. Melt 1/2 tbsp in your cast iron skillet and begin arranging your sweet potatoes and apples, rotating them as your lay them down: sweet potato, apple, sweet potato, apple and so on.
6. Continue this process until you have filled the whole skillet. You can use the remaining slices to fill in gaps so that thecast iron skillet is as full as possible.
7. Take the rendered fat in the small bowl and whisk with it 1 tbsp of melted butter.
8. Pour the bacon butter mixture over the arranged slices as evenly as possible. You won’t hit every piece, but get as much as you can.
9.Sprinkle with salt as pepper and place the rosemary springs on the top.
10. pop it in your oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
11.Chop up your bacon while the tian is cooking.
12. After 30 minutes, remove the tian from the oven and switch your oven to a low broil.
13. Sprinkle the chopped up bacon on top and pop it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Serve as a breakfast a side dish or whatever. Top it with an egg. Grill some sausages. Wear it as a hat. Whatevs. It is awesome! To quote my friend Michelle “It is one of the best things I have had in a long time.”