Morrocan Stuffed Dates
Chef: Anthony Cerrato
(1 lb.) dates
1 heaping cup almonds
1/4 Cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons orange flower water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Blanch and peel the almonds. Bring some water to a boil in a small pot.
- Add the almonds and leave to boil for one or two minutes.
- Remove the almonds from the heat and drain.
- While the almonds are still warm, remove the skin by pinching individual almonds between your forefinger and thumb.
- Leave the skinned almonds to cool.
Make the almond paste.
- Process the almonds, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor until the almonds are a powdery mixture which is moist enough to pack.
- Add the butter and orange flower water and continue processing until a smooth paste forms around the blade.
- Remove the paste from the processor and if desired, divide and color the paste by kneading a drop or two of food color into each portion.
Stuff the dates.
- Roll small cylinders of almond paste the same length as your dates, but only about 1/3 the diameter.
- Take a date, make a vertical cut deep enough to remove the pit, but not so deep as to cut the date in half.
- Discard the pit, insert a cylinder of almond paste, and press the sides of the date firmly around the paste, while leaving a portion of paste exposed.
- Repeat with the remaining dates and almond paste.