Ohhh, scrapple. To many, it might define “mystery meat” given it’s reputation for being made of every part of the pig except the oink. It is commonly found here in the mid-Atlantic region (Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and into southern New York). I grew up with it, mainly because my dad liked it. My mother, being from North Carolina, perhaps never had it until she met my dad. Where he first had it, I don’t know — perhaps in Binghamton, NY where he went to high school (just north of the PA border), or Roanoke, VA, where his family lived during WW II and where my dad returned to recover after being severely wounded during the war.
The most common way to cook scrapple is to fry it in a pan. You’ll typically use a bit of oil or butter to grease the pan, and the pan needs to get very hot. If it’s not, the scrapple will not make a crust and will fall apart when you try to flip it over with a spatula. But I remember my mother baking scrapple in the oven, and I preferred the texture she was able to get using that method, which makes for a good crust on both sides, while remaining soft in the middle — also, it’s less greasy.
I picked-up a package of scrapple yesterday at the Miller Farms store. This was their regular version, as they also make it “hot,” which can be quite spicy. I do tend to like spicy food, and if they’d had that version, I would have bought it, but they only had the plain in stock yesterday.
Baking scrapple instructions
As the oven was heating to 350°, I prepared a baking sheet by covering it with non-stick foil. If you don’t have non-stick foil, you can just use a spray oil to keep the scrapple from sticking. I cut-up about half the loaf of scrapple, making slices about ¼” thick — the size needs to be consistent so they’ll cook evenly. Below is a photo gallery of various phases of the process (click on an image to enlarge and view the gallery).
I baked the slices for about 20 minutes and then checked them. They had started to brown at the edges, but looked like they could use some more time, so I gave them another 10 minutes. At that point, I flipped them over and placed them back in the oven for another 20 minutes, at which point they were finished. Next time I do this, I think I’ll bump up the temperature from 350° to 375°, which should knock 10 minutes or so off the first period in the oven and 5 minutes of the final period, significantly cutting the time for baking scrapple.
Some folks will make these cooked slices into a sandwich. Often, it is served with maple syrup, and makes a good side for pancakes, waffles, or eggs. This morning, I had mine with scrambled eggs and toast. ♦