Start Your Weekend with This Cheesy Apple Bacon Brunch
There are certain flavor combinations in this world that are most certainly born of divine inspiration: There’s the “holy trinity” of onion, celery, and carrot that is a prerequisite for most soups and stews; grilled lamb with rosemary and garlic that can transport you to a Mediterranean island; and of course the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar that are beloved spices for many delicious desserts. However, as soon as the weather cools and I find myself gathering with friends, I begin creating dishes like this cheesy apple bacon brunch that combine sweet and savory flavors.
This apple bacon bake elevates two year-round favorites – apple and bacon – by combining them with the comfort of melted cheese. Apples are abundant, flavorful, and inexpensive this time of year, so it makes sense they’re more prevalent in my fall baking; bacon complements the apples with the perfect amount of salty, smoked flavor. As for the cheddar, that’s influenced by my grandmother baking in the kitchen of a South Georgia ranch with a butcher block island and a brown enamel double oven.
It was nothing unusual for her to make pies from scratch, using whatever fruit was in season and whipping up a crust without ever a glance at a recipe. However, the magic happened when she added the one thing that Granddaddy claimed made the best pie: placing a piece of sharp cheddar cheese on top of a slice of apple pie, then warming it in the oven to melt.
Of course I thought he was crazy putting cheese on a pie, but I quickly changed my mind when I had my first bite of rich, melted cheese combined with sweet, perfectly spiced apples. Somewhere along my taste bud journey, I discovered the one addition that elevated the apple-cheddar combo to new heights, and that, of course, is bacon. Unfortunately I completely lack my grandmother’s talent for making pie, so I’ve found a few other tasty desserts and easy fall recipes to satisfy that craving, including this apple bacon brunch.
How to Make This Cheesy Apple Bacon Brunch
By Marie Powell
Since our weekend activities in the fall often involve hosting friends for football games, hiking, or festival activities, I love to serve easy inexpensive brunch items that are adaptable and tasty. This cheesy apple bacon brunch is a great choice because it’s easy to prepare, travels well in a simple casserole dish, has lots of flavor, and can be served as a warm breakfast option or fun tailgate food along with your favorite beer or cocktail.
For my heat-loving crowd, I always have a bottle of hot sauce on hand, but if you’re a fan of the salty-sweet combo, you can also top this apple bacon bake off with a drizzle of maple syrup.
Yields: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
- 1 lb. bacon
- 3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (approximately 8 oz.)
- 11⁄2 cups baking mix, like Bisquick
- 11⁄2 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a square 8-inch baking dish.
- Mix apples, sugar, and cinnamon; spread in dish.
- Cut bacon into fourths. Stir over medium heat, cooking until crisp; drain.
- Sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the apple mixture in baking dish.
- Beat remaining ingredients with hand mixer until smooth, then pour into baking dish.
- Bake uncovered until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Serve warm with hot sauce or maple syrup.