Devils on Horseback
We know—wrap pretty much anything in bacon, cook until crisp, and it’s bound to be eaten. This British pub snack, though, with an odd name that sounds like it’s from some inverted version of the apocalypse, combines salty, crunchy bacon and boozy, sweet plums (a.k.a. prunes). It’s a major crowd-pleaser, and simple to prepare. Steep the dried prunes in an easy syrup of port wine and sugar, then drain (you can do this ahead of time). Wrap a slice of uncooked bacon around each plum and secure with a toothpick. When guests arrive, just pop the prunes in a hot oven and bake until the bacon’s cooked and crispy, the plums hot all the way through. Feel free to experiment, for instance stuff the prunes with blue cheese or toasted walnuts before wrapping.
For additional appetizer inspiration, check out our Chicken Skewers with Dukkah Crust, Mongolian Beef Kebabs with Chili Jam, and Sesame Shrimp with Cilantro-Lime Sauce.
- 30 pitted prunes (about 8 ounces)
- 1 cup tawny port
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 10 thin slices smoky bacon, cut crosswise into thirds
- 30 toothpicks, soaked in water for at least 15 minutes
1Heat the oven to 500°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2Combine the prunes, port, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the port thickens into a loose syrup, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, for about 10 minutes, then drain the prunes of excess syrup or reserve syrup for other uses (for example, serve with seared meats or drizzle into a glass of seltzer or Champagne).
3Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then set a cooling rack over the foil.
4Wrap a piece of bacon around each prune and secure with a toothpick. Place the prunes at least 1 inch apart on the cooling rack. Bake for 7 minutes, then flip the prunes with tongs and continue to bake until crispy, about 7 to 9 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Cool slightly before serving.
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