Devils on horseback

Devils on horseback

By
From
The Sunday Night Book
Serves
2
Photographer
Patricia Niven

I have very early memories of this sweet and salty treat. My parents always had a party on Christmas Eve, complete with handbell ringers, and every year we would spend the whole day making tasty little morsels to pass around. Devils on horseback always passed muster, whereas vol au vents with many a filling came and went, along with the seventies. Stuffed mushrooms, mangetouts and all things minimal blew away with the eighties. By the nineties, when interest from the rest of the family had waned, I pressed on with many an ambitious snackette, but always with a trusty prune wrapped in bacon by my side. Such a comfort. I have, on occasion, speared them with a (de-leafed) rosemary or thyme stalk for extra aromatic depth, but if life feels too short for such things, just strew some herbs over the bottom of the baking tray. These make perfect party food: the amounts below are easy enough to multiply up if feeding a crowd; and, once they’re wrapped in bacon, your devils on horseback will happily sit in the fridge until you’re ready to pop them into the oven.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
12 soft prunes
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, (optional)
black pepper
bread, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Cut the bacon rashers in half and stretch slightly by pressing along them with the back of a knife.
  3. Put the prunes into a bowl with the oil and a grinding of pepper, and toss to make sure they are well coated. Roll each prune in half a rasher of bacon and sit on a baking tray (strewn with rosemary, thyme and bay, if you fancy), seam side down, and in a single layer but not touching.
  4. Cook your devils on horseback in the oven for about 15–20 minutes, by which time you will have crisp bacon, unctuous prunes and tasty juices for mopping up with bread.
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