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Medjool Dates with Orange Almond Paste
(recipe, Deborah Madison)
Medjool dates make a big, plump mouthful. To make them extra festive, chop a few pieces of candied orange peel into small pieces and sprinkle them over the orange almond paste along with finely chopped pistachio nuts.
- 5 to 8 oz. almond paste or marzipan
- Grated zest of 2 oranges
- 1 tsp. orange-flower water
- 1 drop orange food coloring
- 12 Medjool dates
- Candied orange peel, chopped, and pistachio nuts, chopped (optional)
- Knead the almond paste with the zest, flower water, and food coloring. (You can also mix them together in a food processor.) Make any other additions, such as more orange-flower water or coloring, gradually and carefully; the flavors will deepen as the paste ripens.
- Slit open the dates and remove the pits. Roll a marble of orange-almond paste between your palms, shape it into a lozenge, and insert it into a date. Repeat until all the dates are filled. Close the date sides neatly around the paste lozenges, leaving a wide ribbon exposed.
- If using the peel and/or nuts, sprinkle them over the ribbons of paste and press into the dates.