Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bacon Fruit Cups

These are perfect for buffets, picnics, and other single-serving, no-utensils eating extravaganzas.


2 lbs Bacon (long skinny pieces are better than short fat pieces)
Fresh basil leaves
Homemade aioli (made with bacon grease mayo and lemon juice)
Fresh mango, cubed
Large avocado, cubed
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 large onion, sliced into thin rings
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 500F. While your oven is heating up, turn the muffin upside-down onto the cookie tray (this is going to be what catches the bacon grease).

Each bacon cup will take 1 and a half to 2 slices of bacon depending on how thick the bacon and the length. You can also stretch the bacon out, lengthwise, if you wish to get more bang for your buck, but honestly, this is bacon we are talking about here! The more the merrier!

Drape a half piece over the muffin cup of the muffin tin. Stretch your second piece, and drape it across the first piece at a 90-degree angle. Fold the bacon up at a 90-degree angle, and wrap it around the cup. Tuck tail into the fold. This will take a slice and a half of bacon, if that doesn’t work, please see the following paragraph, which will use 2 slices of bacon.

Drape the bacon over the cup so one end is touching the flat part of the muffin tin, then fold the other side at a 90-degree angle and wrap the rest around the cup - it shouldn't fit all the way around. (If it does, use technique 1.) Repeat with another strip, 90 degrees offset from the first, except tuck the initial end under the first bacon loop, and make sure all wrapped ends are tucked in/under as well.

Of course, neither might work very well, but honestly, as long as it looks good enough, it will work fine enough for our purposes.

Bake bacon cups in a 500F oven. Be sure your tray catches all the melting bacon grease! Remove from the oven when bacon is brown and crispy, but NOT burned! Set the entire assembly aside to cool.

When the bacon cups are cool, carefully pry them off of the muffin tin. Lift from the bottom to avoid cracking the bacon, or otherwise damaging the shape. If you have a silicone muffin tin, this is where it comes in handy.

Cooking the Onion Topping

Add some bacon grease to a pan, slice up the onion, and cook the onions on low to medium heat with a teaspoon (or less, depending on taste) of brown sugar until the onions are extremely soft and well caramelized.

Set aside to cool. If you refrigerate the onions, let them come to room temperature before using - solidified grease is kind of gross.

Now, it is time to fill the Bacon Cups.

Chop up the avocado and mangos as to your liking. Wash the basil, pat dry, and line the bacon cups with 2-4 basil leaves, depending on size. Romain also works if you do not have any basil on hand, but to keep with the flavors, add a bit of dried basil to the homemade aiolo. Then place a spoonful in the middle of basil leaves, which are currently lining the bacon cup. Fill the rest of the bacon cup with even amounts of avocado and mango chunks. Sprinkle a little cocoa powder over the mango and avocado if you wish at this point. The top it with some of the caramelized onions. Serve.


Substitute other fruits and herbs to fit your tastes and the seasons. The mango works because it has a nice strong acidic flavor that works well against the bacon - I'd expect cherries, pineapple, and other assertive fruits to fill the same niche. Avocado could be subbed for a nice, ripe pear - this one's about mouth feel. Cilantro and mint would be good substitutes for the basil. Also, you can use just about anything to fill the bacon cups, go wild!

Edited and adapted from: and

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