Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sexy, Exciting Dates

Sfogliatini Speziati con Datteri Fresche, Pistacchi, Pinoli & Pera
Spiced Puff-Pastries with Fresh Dates, Pistachio, Pine Nuts & Pear


Small, spicy and seductive... No, not words used to describe myself, but words I am using to describe these little pastries- hehe! Let's face it... I have to keep coming up with these things to catch people attention... They only want me for my food!

Having said that, I am guessing that if you made some of these lovely little pastries for your own beautiful selves, they would immediately make everyone love you- word!


I based the folding technique for making these lovely little pastries on the traditional Turkish method used to make their little apple pies known as "elmali kurabiye"... Which are already wonderful... But you know me... I had to go ahead and go crazy and do something different!

As I had the extreme good fortune of having found fresh dates at the market yesterday, of course they HAD to go in there... But because they were so sweet and delicious, they also completely eliminated any need for any extra sugar in the filling! So, as naughty as these little devils were, the only actual added sugar to them was only a teaspoon in all for the whole lot! Which can only be a good thing!


As few as these ingredients look, the amazing fact is that I used not even half of what you can see here... And would have had enough filling to have made twice as many as my roll of pastry would allow! Which means, that to make 15 of these little pastries I needed: 1 roll of puff pastry, 1 pear, 5-6 fresh dates, 1 tablespoon of ground pistachio, 1 tablespoon of chopped pine nuts, 2 cardamom pods, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Yes, they're small at just 2 bites a piece, but yes, they are filled with rich, exotic flavor and sweet without being overpowering, as many oriental pastries can tend to be... Which made them just right for me! And I am hoping for you too!


Rinse the dates, cut them in half, remove the stones and cut them into thin slices.


Grate the pear coarsely, and add the date slices. Whether you peel the pear or not is. A matter of preference, but I decided to not peel mine. Grind the coriander and cardamom with a mortar and pastel and add them, along with the cinnamon. Stir everything together and allow it to sit and draw juice from the pear for around 15 minutes and in the meantime you can turn on your oven and unroll your pastry.


After 15 minutes, add the pistachio and the pine nuts and stir them in so that everything is well blended and so that all of the excess juices get absorbed.


Simply cut the pastry into even-sized squares.


Make parallel cuts on each of 2 sides that almost meet, but not quite, in one corner of each pastry square, as seen in the photo.

Then add about 1 teaspoon of the filling to each square.


Fold the pastry gently shut, first from one side...


 ...and then of course, the other.


Now, fold the bottom end of the pastry upwards to seal and press down firmly with a fork to seal the pastry securely before baking.

Pop into a hot oven, at 180C and bake for 25-30 minutes until they are puffed-up but still rather pale.

That would be the time to add that little sprinkle of sugar... Better to wait and add it at the end than to risk it burning!


Bake for a further 5-10 minutes until they are lovely and golden brown... Unfortunately, they will smell so wonderful at this point that you might burn your fingers if you are too impatient... Like I was! Hehe!

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