When you use bacon in an appetizer, people tend to expect to find it wrapped around something, simply because it’s so easy to wrap around other foods (before it’s cooked, anyway), and it’s so good at sharing its intense flavor with them too. So on the buffet table you find bacon wrapped around everything from oysters to figs.
This time I’ve used bacon and apples together, a natural pairing of sweet and salty, mild and strong. It’s also extra simple. If it’s not simple enough — if you have no apples or anything, like pears, to sub in for them — just roll the half-slices of bacon up with no filling, bake and broil as in the recipe, and serve on crackers. You could put a little brown sugar inside.
Speaking of that brown sugar — any of it that’s on a part of the apple slice not covered by the bacon is liable to melt and run off along with the grease. With that in mind, you might try to put sugar only on the centers of the apple slices, or put it on one end of the bacon slices, the one that’s going to end up on the inside of the roll.
While coming up with this, I tried a variation with cinnamon sugar, but the plain brown sugar really works better. I guess there’s a reason you don’t see cinnamon bacon at the store. I also tried wrapping raw apple slices in cooked bacon rolls, but on top of being harder to make, these presented too much of a contrast in texture to really work.
And if you want to go beyond appetizers with this combination, you can always try apple slices fried right along with the bacon, or baked apples stuffed with bacon. I’m just not sure if those would be main dishes, side dishes, or dessert.
- 1 sweet apple, washed but not peeled
- 4 slices bacon
- brown sugar for sprinkling
- Cut each slice of bacon in half.
- Cut the apple into eight slices (see where we’re going with this?)
- Sprinkle the sugar in a shallow dish.
- Press the cut sides of the apple slices into the sugar so it clings to them.
- Roll each apple slice up inside a bacon half-slice.
- Bake at 350℉, in a pan with a rack so the grease can flow off, for 15 minutes.
- Broil for another five minutes (give or take a few) to brown the bacon.
- Serve hot.