The idea of leftover bacon-wrapped dates is an urban myth, No one has hard evidence that such a thing has ever happened, that's how popular these sweet and salty, fruity and meaty finger-food appetizers are. They all get eaten every time, no matter how many there are. They are super easy to make, too. The only tricky part is getting each fig wrapped in a strip of bacon, but that's something you can do ahead of time, and then just heat them up when guests arrive.
This is probably obvious, but you can scale the recipe to make the number of servings you want: 1 strip bacon to every 2 figs. Also, please note that in this instance you actually want thin-cut bacon so it cooks quickly; you want the fig to get warm but not start to fall apart from too much heat.
How many bacon-wrapped figs per person? That limit in a great unknown, but you'll want to budget at least 1 per person, although at least 2 or 3 is a better bet.
- 3 to 6 pieces thin-cut bacon or pancetta
- Rinse the figs clean and pat them dry. Trim off any excess stem from them and set them aside.*
- Cut each piece of bacon in half lengthwise so you have long, skinny strips of bacon to work with. If you want to use less bacon per fig, cut them in half crosswise as well.
- Wrap each fig with a strip of bacon. The bacon should wrap around several times; have it overlap as little as possible. This method will help the bacon stay on without the help of toothpicks. If you want to use shorter bacon strips, you may need to use a toothpick to secure the bacon in place (once the bacon is cooked, it should hold in place on its own, so you can remove the toothpicks as it cooks or before serving, if you like).
- You can now cook them one of two ways, on the stove or under a broiler:
On the Stove: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Set the bacon-wrapped figs in the pan and cook, turning as each side browns and crisps up, until all sides of the bacon are done to your liking. Remove the figs, setting them on several layers of paper towels to blot off any excess fat before serving them piping hot.
Under a Broiler: Heat a broiler. Set the figs on a baking sheet. Turn the figs as needed to brown and crisp the bacon on all sides. As above, transfer the figs to several layers of paper towels to blot off any excess fat before serving them piping hot.
*If you want to gild the lily, cut a vertical slit in the sides of the figs before wrapping them and insert a peeled almond or a nub of blue cheese or a bit of goat cheese in the center, then proceed with Step #3.
If you like this recipe, you may also like these other Quick Fig Recipes.