Dates Stuffed with Almond Paste – A Recipe from Morocco

Dates Stuffed with Almond Paste - Recipe from Morocco, Ramzan, Iftar, Sheri Recipe
Dates Stuffed with Almond Paste

I am in love! I am in love!

With Orange Blossom Water or Orange Flower Water.

Let me not get ahead of myself but start at the beginning. Last year, I was looking up recipes from Africa and the Middle-East when I found that several dessert recipes called for Orange Blossom Water or Orange Flower Water. Some friends told me I could use Kewra instead but I was loathe to do that. Luckily, I had a friend, Aparna, who was coming down from Dubai and so I made a call to her. The sweetheart that she is, Aparna got me a large bottle of Orange Blossom Water and it remained unopened for over 6 months till this past Friday, when I finally made these almond paste stuffed dates.

The moment I broke open the seal and had the first whiff of the wonderful aroma of Orange Blossom Water, I knew I was done for. It is mild, floral and not at all citrusy as I had expected. When added to the food, it lent a beautiful taste that is instantly identifiable as middle-eastern.

These Dates Stuffed with Almond Paste were so-so easy to make and an absolute delight to taste. Very different from the Indian desserts that I am used to.

While the original recipe calls for medjool dates, I had the regular Indian dates at home and used those as a base for this recipe. Given that the Indian dates are much smaller in size and also softer in texture, pitting them while retaining the shape and then stuffing them was a bit of a challenge. However, the end result was delicious.

The next time around I will try this with Medjool dates and update the post! 🙂

How to Make Dates Stuffed with Almond Paste

Makes: 18-20 Small Stuffed Dates or 12 Medjool Dates

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Indian Dates with Seed – 18 or 20
    or
    Medjool Dates – 12
  2. Almonds – 1/3 Cup
  3. Sugar – 1/4 Cup
  4. Butter – 1/4 tsp
  5. Orange Blossom Water – 1 tsp
  6. Cinnamon – 1/2″ piece

To Garnish (Optional)

  1. Crushed Pistachios – 4 or 5
  2. Crushed Almonds – 3

Method to Make the Almond Paste

  1. Boil about 2 cups water.
  2. Turn off the heat.
  3. Add the almonds to the boiling water.
  4. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. Drain the water.
  6. While the almonds are still warm, peel them by just pinching them.
  7. Grind together the sugar and cinnamon to a fine powder.
  8. Add the almonds grind to a smooth paste. Do not add water.
  9. Add butter and orange blossom water.
  10. Grind to smooth paste.

Method to Make the Almond Paste Stuffed Dates

  1. Pit or deseed the dates.
  2. Set aside.
  3. If using garnish, mix together the crushed pistachios and almonds.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Take a small portion of the almond paste and stuff each date.
  6. Just dip the almond paste portion of the date in the crushed pistachio and almond garnish.
  7. Repeat till all dates are stuffed.
  8. Enjoy!
Dates Stuffed with Almond Paste - A Moroccon Speciality
Dates Stuffed with Almond Paste – A Moroccon Speciality