Pumpkin with Apples and Candied Bacon

pumpkin with bacon

1 small Pumpkin

4 Granny Smith Apples

1 cup Pumpkin Seeds

¼ lb. slab Bacon

1 bunch sage

1 cup mascarpone cheese

1 oz Maple syrup

4 oz Sherry vinegar

4 oz sugar

3 cp canola oil

1 tsp Aleppo pepper

2 tsp caraway seed

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Begin by peeling pumpkin and dicing into 1 inch cubes, saving any trim. Once pumpkin is diced, juice all trim using a commercial juice extractor.  In a large bowl toss pumpkin with canola oil and salt. Place seasoned pumpkin along with 4 sage leaves and pumpkin juice into a Ziploc bag, or vacuum seal bag if available. Remove all air from bag and proceed to cook in a 90 C circulator for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft to the touch. While pumpkin is cooking, peel your apples and dice into 1 inch cubes. In a small rondo, heat remaining canola oil over high heat just until oil begins to smoke. Add apples to rondo and cook until they turn golden brown and are slightly soft. Season with caraway seeds and three of the sage leaves, and remove from heat, placing apples on a cooling rack for use later. Once pumpkin is cooked, remove from bag and allow it to cool.

For the bacon, slice the slab into ¼ inch strips, and then cut strips into ¼ inch lardons. In a small rondo, render bacon lardons until golden brown. Drain fat and reserve. In the same rondo, melt sugar over medium heat until you have an amber caramel. Add sherry vinegar to caramel and cook until mixture regains a caramel consistency. Remove from heat and add rendered bacon back into rondo. Stir bacon with a rubber spatula and once coated transfer it to a non-stick baking tray and cook in oven at 400 F for 3-4 minutes. Remove bacon from oven and allow it to cool. Mix mascarpone with maple syrup in small mixing bowl and season with black pepper and a dash of salt. Toast pumpkin seeds in a 350 F oven for 5-10 minutes, or until toasted. Transfer pumpkin seeds to small bowl and season with salt and Aleppo pepper. Fry remaining sage leaves in 2 cup canola oil at 350 F for 1 minute or until crispy. Remove and let dry on a paper towel.

To assemble the dish, heat your apples and pumpkin in a 350 F oven for 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven and mix apples, pumpkin, and 3 tsp of bacon fat in a medium mixing bowl. Plate mixture in you favorite bowls, and garnish with candied bacon, pumpkin.

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