David – my adorable husband, needed a appetizer/finger-food item for his company Christmas party. He is not a fan of supersweet desserts and enjoys dark chocolate. So I came up with this little mouthful of a recipe. Gaia Apples are a real treat this time of year – and pairing them with bacon and sweet onions is a real winning combination. This recipe makes them into tarts with a splash of citrus and heat from the chipolte for a delicious warm winter appetizer. When I made them up this winter, I added chopped pitted dates and placed a dark chocolate covered walnut piece or two in the bottom of each cup – and now, the recipe has got everything: salty, sweet, crunchy and chocolate! I had to put a lock on the refrigerator and give Dave the key so I wouldn’t eat all of them myself.


  • 1/4 pound bacon
  • 2 Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 gaia apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped dates
  • 2 boxes frozen mini filo shells, defrosted (15 each)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • and the secret ingredient – 2/3 cup chocolate covered walnut pieces


In a skillet, fry up the bacon until crispy, remove the bacon and set aside on a paper towel to drain. In the same skillet, saute onions adding a sprinkle of salt and pepper to season. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon. At this point- deglaze the pan with the white wine – there is a LOT of bacon and onion flavor stuck to the bottom of the pan that you don’t want to miss. Poor in the white wine and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan; let it briskly boil for about three minutes – then run the mixture through a strainer or a seive – returning the liquid – now a delicious slurry of white wine and bacon/onion flavor to the pan. Then add the butter and let it melt into the white wine reduction. Stir in the apples and dates, then saute over medium-high heat to slightly brown the apples, but remove before they become soft, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the fruit to a bowl and add bacon, onions and raisins. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Put the mini filo shells out on your serving platter. Place a chocolate covered walnut in the bottom of each cup – covering with approx. 1 teaspoon of the warm bacon/onion/fruit mixture.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the orange juice, honey and chipotle powder (carefully measure the powder here – we’re looking for a hint of kick, not a bite of lava?). Bring to a boil then lower the heat and cook until it reduces and becomes slightly thick, about 10 minutes. Pour 1/2 teaspoon of syrup over each cup and allow it to soak in, then repeat with another teaspoon.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight to let the orange glaze set. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.