- READER REVIEWS
Devils on Horseback
Provided by: Chef April Bloomfield
Ingredients2 tea bags, English breakfast (preferably PG Tips)
6 tbs. Armagnac
20 large pitted prunes
20 thin slices of bacon
2 spiced pears (see recipe) along with 6 tbsp. of the liquid
2–3 dried pequin chiles
Pinch of salt
3 large, firm, ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 cups dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup white-wine vinegar
1 cup superfine sugar
1 tbs. skin-on fresh ginger, sliced or roughly chopped
10 whole peppercorns
4 allspice berries
4 dried pequin chiles
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
InstructionsIn a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the tea bags, and let steep for 5 minutes off the heat. Discard the tea bags, and let the tea cool.
Put the tea, Armagnac, and prunes in a bowl, submerging the prunes in the liquid. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge. Soak the prunes overnight (or longer, if necessary), until they’re plump and soft. Then remove the prunes and reserve 1/4 cup of liquid.
Cut the spiced pears into chunks just small enough to fit inside the prunes. (You want about an inch of the pear to peek out one end of the prune.) Stuff each prune with a pear chunk and wrap with a slice of bacon.
Preheat the oven broiler to high (or if you don’t have an oven broiler, heat the oven to 500 degrees), and position the rack in the middle of the oven. Arrange the prunes bacon-seam side down in a shallow baking tray, leaving some room between them. Add 6 tablespoons of the pear liquid along with the 1/4 cup reserved prune liquid to the tray. Throw on a pinch of salt, and crumble the chiles on top. Place under the broiler, basting with the liquid every 2 minutes, until the bacon is golden and slightly crispy (about 15 minutes).
Let them cool slightly before serving with toothpicks.
Use a small spoon to scoop out the tough core from each pear half, and trim off the hard bit at the base. Combine all the ingredients in a pan just big enough for the pears to be submerged in the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, reducing the heat so it gently simmers (don’t rush it or the pears will disintegrate). Cook just until the pears are tender but not soft or mushy (15 to 20 minutes). Turn off heat, and let the pears cool in the liquid. (They’ll continue to cook a bit as they cool.) Once cool, they should still have a soft crunch. The cooked pears will keep happily in their liquid in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. (Published 2011)