This weekend’s NY Times Moment section featured “lard caramels” from some innovative folks in San Francisco but omitted a recipe. Our interest piqued, we made it a weekend DIY project to try to recreate them. We now know that yes, it is possible to make caramels from reserved bacon fat. But, like cloning, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
These turned out sweet with a flavor not unlike what happens when your bacon gets drenched in the syrup run-off from your pancakes.
Bacon Fat Caramels
Makes about 2 1/2 pounds
1 cup bacon fat – drained of any particulate matter
1 pound brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt bacon fat in a heavy saucepan. Add brown sugar and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in corn syrup and mix well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over medium heat until candy reaches firm ball stage (245-250F degrees on candy thermometer). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour into a buttered 9 inch square pan. Cool and cut into squares using scissors and wrap each piece in wax paper.