A bacon-wrapped date is sweet, smoky, squidgy and crisp, all in one bite-size package. The trick is getting the bacon to cook before the date burns, and you can do that by starting in a cold oven so that the bacon slowly renders its fat and evenly crisps. While this appetizer was en vogue in the 1970s and 1980s, it has never gone out of style. In fact, it dates back to Victorian England, when bacon-wrapped oysters or prunes (also known as angels or devils on horseback) were eaten before or after a meal. (“Horseback” referred to their being served on toast.) Sometimes the prunes were soaked in tea or liqueur, and stuffed with chutney, cheese, or nuts. You can do the same if you like.
- Serves: 16 persons
- 8slices bacon
- 16medium Medjool dates, pitted
- Black pepper (optional)
Step 1Using scissors, cut each slice of bacon in half crosswise at a diagonal, like cutting ribbon. (This will help secure the bacon to the date.) Starting at the straight end of the bacon, roll the bacon around the dates. Tuck the point under the wrapped bacon to secure. Place seam side down on a baking sheet.
Step 2Place in the oven, and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip and cook until golden brown all over, another 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bacon.
Step 3Season with black pepper (if desired), then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to crisp and cool slightly.