Maxwell, Pam & Heather

Bacon Saves the Fruitcake!
Bacon Saves the Fruitcake!

Congrats to Maxwell, Pam and Heather fan,  Megan Schettler Schug, for saving the tarnished reputation of the fruitcake, by adding BACON! Here’s her winning “Bacon Bourbon Fruitcake” recipe…and listen to the audio clip as Brooks Reynolds, from the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, awards her Bacon Fest Tickets!

Bacon Bourbon Fruitcake

(Adapted from Alton Brown’s Free Range Fruitcake)

Ingredients

1 c raisins

1 c chopped, pitted dates

1 c chopped dried apples

1 c bourbon

1 c brown sugar

6 T butter

4 T bacon grease (see syrup recipe below)

1 c apple juice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 ¾ c all purpose flour

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

¼ to ½ cup toasted pecans, broken

Bourbon Maple Bacon syrup (adapted from David Leite’s recipe)

1 lb bacon, thick cut, double smoked, cut to ½ inch pieces

6 oz bourbon

1 ½ c maple syrup

Fry bacon (in 2 batches, if needed) over medium heat until golden brown. Drain off a good portion of the grease and set aside for later use in the fruitcake. OFF THE HEAT, CAREFULLY add the bourbon to bacon in the pan, stirring and scraping the bits off the bottom. Add in your maple syrup and stir. Increase heat to med/high until bubbling well. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool for a bit. Transfer to a container and cover, refrigerate overnight.

The next day, skim the fat from the surface and using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the syrup mixture for use in fruitcake. Refrigerate syrup until you’re ready to baste the cakes.

Fruitcake:

Combine dried fruits, add bourbon and macerate overnight or microwave 5 minutes to rehydrate fruit.

Place fruit and liquid in a non-reactive pot with the sugar, butter, bacon grease, apple juice and cinnamon. Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine dry ingredients and stir carefully into the fruit mixture. When combined, stir in eggs one at a time, then fold in nuts and reserved bacon. Try not to overmix. Spoon into a 10 inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or mini loaf pans and check doneness after 20 minutes with a toothpick.

remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Baste with Bourbon Maple Bacon syrup and let cool completely before turning out of the pan.

When it is completely cool, place in a tight sealing, food safe container and put in the refrigerator. Once or twice a day for 3 days, baste the cake on all sides with syrup mixture.

 

 

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About Maxwell Maxwell is celebrating 34 years in radio with more than 25 years "On-The-Air" in Des Moines! His familiar voice & face grace local, regional and national radio and TV advertising, and his passion for theater has been displayed as both actor and director at Stagewest Theater Company and the Playhouse in Des Moines, where he was honored with a 2012 Playhouse "Legend" Award. He is an avid hockey fan, manning the microphone for 18 seasons as P.A. announcer for the Des Moines Buccaneers. Email Maxwell

About Pam Pam Dixon has been a familiar voice to central Iowans for over 30 years. A Beaverdale native & Hoover High graduate, Pam has to pinch herself that she’s working for the radio station she grew up listening to in Des Moines! Pam was formerly heard on KRNQ (Q-102) and KLYF in the 80’s and 90’s before being lured back to the biz by KIOA! As a breast cancer survivor, Pam is active with the Susan G. Komen Iowa Foundation and Bras for the Cause. Email Pam

About Heather Heather Burnside's quest to be on every radio & TV station in Des Moines has (hopefully!) come to an end with her latest stop at KIOA. Heather started at WHO-TV as a sportscaster, moved on to ESPN as an associate producer, and got into radio when she moved back to Iowa after two years of stalking celebrities and athletes on the East Coast. She doesn't want to talk about how she’s old enough to have a 20 year broadcasting career, instead preferring to believe she’s managed to cram all of that excitement & a 13 year radio career into one decade. Heather is very glad Pam is back, she’s like the big sister she never had. After discovering Max is a nice guy who can cook, sing, play guitar, & hit a golf ball a mile, she figures it’ll take that long to find something he isn't good at. Email Heather