Bacon-Wrapped Apricots Stuffed with Pistachios and Mozzarella

December  7, 2011
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Dried apricots are poached in a spiced vinegar, stuffed with pistachios and mozzarella, and then wrapped in bacon for a simple, unforgettable party snack. The smoky-salty bacon plays perfectly with the pickled apricots, and the pistachios and mozzarella lend a nice textural contrast. All components can be prepped in advance, and assembly is fun and easy. I've only made them in the oven but I think they'd take beautifully to the grill. They also meet my criteria for the ultimate party snack: They're easy to pick up and eat in one bite while holding a cocktail! This recipe is infinitely adaptable, so feel free to play around. A few ideas: You could make a Spanish version by substituting Serrano ham for bacon, Manchego for mozzarella, and Marcona almonds for pistachios. Or substitute dried figs for apricots, pancetta for bacon, and fontina for mozzarella. If you or your guests have nut allergies, simply omit the nuts. —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

Sweet, salty, and tangy, I thought the bacon might overpower the other ingredients, but the apricots hold their own with the help of the subtle pickling. The crunch from the nuts adds textural interest. The cheese seemed to get lost, so I'd consider the following: a feta or smoked cheese, a smoked almond, and/or some rosemary or tarragon, depending on the season. —SeasonToTaste

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, cut into thin slices (no need to peel, but scrub well)
  • 3 2-inch pieces of orange peel
  • 24 dried apricots (about 1 cup)
  • 12 slices of bacon, cut in half crosswise (thinly-sliced bacon recommended; applewood smoked bacon, if available, is delicious here)
  • 24 whole pistachios, shelled (or a slightly larger number of pistachio pieces)
  • 2 to 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, brown sugar, cloves, allspice berries, peppercorns, ginger root, and orange peel to a boil. Add apricots, and lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 12 minutes, or until the apricots are soft and plumped up but not falling apart; they should have a definite pickled flavor at this point, which will develop more fully as they cool. Remove from the heat and let them cool to room temperature in the pan.
  2. With a sharp paring knife, cut a small lengthwise slit on one side of each apricot, and gently pry them open. Stuff each one with a piece of cheese and a pistachio. Wrap a piece of bacon around each apricot; the bacon should overlap slightly (by about 1/2 inch) so they hold together once cooked. Trim the bacon if necessary. Transfer, overlap-side down, to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Preheat oven to 375° F. Bake the apricots until the bacon is browned and crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate, put a toothpick in each one, and serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • betty888
  • scolere
  • Emily
  • Lise Stanley
    Lise Stanley
  • Kukla

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

40 Reviews

betty888 January 1, 2022
Made for NYE, Dec 2021. Guests loved them and they weren't difficult to make (prepped the apricots in the morning and assembled an hour prior to baking). I'll agree with others - the pistachios got a little lost so will replace with marcona almonds next time.
lbn March 7, 2018
These were pretty yummy. I couldn't really taste the pistachio-- maybe I'd use two per apricot next time. I used the orange dried apricots you buy in a bag and stuffing them was super easy.
scolere January 31, 2016
I made these last night, they were tasty but the apricot flavour was a little too powerful, so next time I'll only use half an apricot per piece. Also I would avoid the sugar in the pickling brine, my apricots were sweet enough.
EmilyC February 1, 2016
Thanks for your testing notes! Curious, what type of dried apricots did you use? I typically use California ones but I'm realizing that Turkish and other types might take differently to the flavor profile.
scolere February 1, 2016
Hi Emily, thanks for your answer. I used turkish apricots, the other ones were too small. They are pretty sweet.
Emily August 1, 2014
I've never had dates before but I bought some and they have been waiting in the cabinet for me to find a way to use them. Do you think they would work instead of the apricots?
EmilyC August 1, 2014
Hi Emily -- I think the pickled flavor might get lost with the dates, but you should absolutely stuff them with cheese and nuts and wrap them in bacon. They'd be fabulous that way!
Emily August 2, 2014
Turns out that my dates were chopped anyway, so I used apricots and they were delicious! Thank you! My husband and I just ate 12 of them.
Lise S. December 31, 2013
I am going to try a few of these with blue cheese.
EmilyC December 31, 2013
Diane V. December 28, 2013
Thank you for your quick response! Last question...they didn't have Sherry vinegar at the grocery store...should I substitute with white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar, or balsamic vinegar? Thank you!
EmilyC December 28, 2013
I think white wine vinegar should work well!
Diane V. December 27, 2013
And one more thing...are you using 'ground' allspice?
EmilyC December 28, 2013
I used whole allspice berries. You could use ground, or even a small cinnamon stick, which I did last time I made them. They're open to improvisation!
Diane V. December 27, 2013
Hi Emily, I'm going to make these for a Christmas party tomorrow, and I will try bbq'ing them. My only fear is that the ends of the bacon could potentially fall through the grill grate, as they're so tiny. Any suggestions? Also, if I prep them in the AM, will the pistachios get soft/soggy by the evening from the moisture of the cheese and pickled apricots? Thanks! Very excited!
EmilyC December 28, 2013
I haven't grilled them, but I'd recommend either doing them on a grill tray or threading them on wooden skewers that you've soaked. The pistachios might get a bit soggy if you prep them in the morning, but probably not enough to matter much. They should still be good. I recently made them with prosciutto so I could bake them and serve at room temperature. I don't think bacon would work as well at room temperature but if you happen to have prosciutto you could go that direction. Let me know how they turn out!
r.alexander May 27, 2013
Hi Emily, I am new to this site,about a month. What can I say that has not already been said, but what a wonderful use of ingredients. I plan to make these for a large party I will be having in the new year.I am in the planing stage, I hope to make these very soon, so that I know how to make them for the large event. Question, how ahead of time can I make them. Could I serve room temp, I realize warm brings out more of the flavor. I do not know if I will have use of kitchen to warm or prepare. Thanks and happy cooking.
EmilyC May 28, 2013
Hi r.alexander -- I've only served them straight from the oven, so I'm not sure how they'll taste at room temperature. My guess is that they'll be good but not as good as when they're served warm. A trial run is a good idea. Hope you try and like them -- and welcome to Food52! : )
Kukla May 9, 2013
Congratulations Emily! It is another creative and beautiful way for making delicious finger food.
EmilyC May 10, 2013
Thanks Kukla!
ChefJune May 9, 2013
Oh my goodness. I'm definitely going to be making these soon!
EmilyC May 10, 2013
I'd be thrilled if you try them! Let me know how they turn out if you do! I want to try them on the grill this summer.
foxeslovelemons April 23, 2013
Yum! I have some dried apricots that have been lurking around here. Thanks for the recipe!
EmilyC April 24, 2013
This is definitely a worthy way to use up those apricots! Let me know if you give this a whirl!
gingerroot December 9, 2011
YUM! These little bites sound amazing. Sherry vinegar is one of my new favorite ingredients - to my palate, everything sparkles in your mouth when you use it. I will definitely have to try these soon.
EmilyC December 9, 2011
Thanks gingerroot! I share your love for sherry vinegar -- I reach for it constantly! I'd love to know what you think if you try them. Next time I make them, I want to try them on the grill (on water-soaked skewers) -- I'm thinking they'd taste fabulous with a little smoky, grilled flavor!
lapadia December 9, 2011
Amazing, sounds delish!!
EmilyC December 9, 2011
Thanks so much, lapadia!
TheWimpyVegetarian December 8, 2011
This sounds wonderful EmilyC!! I'll bet they're beautiful on the tray! And I love the idea of the apricots with the bacon. I'm going to have to have an appetizer party so I can make all these wonderful apps that were posted this week!!
EmilyC December 8, 2011
Thanks so much ChezSuzanne, and you're right -- they do like really nice on the tray! And I'm right there with you -- you could throw a fantastic appetizer party using recipes from this week's contest. Be sure to let me know if you end up trying these!
fiveandspice December 8, 2011
This sounds so good EmilyC! Please pass the tray! I've made a sandwich with mozzarella, apricots, and pancetta before, so I know the flavors are good together, but with pickled Apricots?! That sounds amazing!
EmilyC December 8, 2011
Thanks fiveandspice -- they're pretty addictive, I will tell you that! And now I want to try that sandwich you described -- yum! I can't wait to try your cinnamon sugar breakfast puffs, by the way. Knowing my weakness for sweets--and anything with brown butter--I have a feeling I'm going to have a hard time leaving them alone!
Midge December 8, 2011
The pickled apricots alone sound so delicious. I can only imagine the whole package is sensational. When is your next cocktail party? ;)
EmilyC December 8, 2011
Thanks, Midge, you're very kind! No cocktail parties on the horizon for us, but I'd really like to host one after seeing all of the great entries this week! : )
hardlikearmour December 8, 2011
These sound amazing, and make me want to pickle some apricots!! Love the sweet, tangy, savory, cheesy, crunchy combo you've got going on.
EmilyC December 8, 2011
Thanks HLA! I'd never pickled apricots before...they turned out really well. I tried a version of the canape with unpickled apricots but preferred the pickled ones hands down!
arielleclementine December 7, 2011
these sound wonderful! i love dried apricots and bacon-wrapped anything- will have to try!
EmilyC December 8, 2011
Thanks so much -- definitely let me know if you try them!
EmilyC December 7, 2011
Thanks Summer of Eggplant! I'm a big fan of salty+sweet, too, and the spice and vinegar really come through as well.