Plump medjool dates, velvety ricotta and a slight hint of flower water – my new favorite dessert. My husband, enamored with ricotta in general, likened them to Middle Eastern-style cannoli.
Dates are a natural complement to orange blossom water, and the ricotta’s creamy mellowness elevates this simple snack to dreamlike proportions. Soft and decadent, they beckon for sips of strong black tea or coffee in between bites to complete any meal. Or, elevenses perhaps?
All that’s required is a simple mix of the filling ingredients, and slicing the dates almost in half, to remove the pit. I piped the ricotta mixture into each date, then topped with crumbled pistachios. A zipper sandwich bag is a perfectly acceptable substitute for a piping bag (this is what I used, with an icing tip in the end), but in times of need, a trusty teaspoon won’t disappoint.
- 10 medjool dates
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp pistachios, for garnish
Slice each date halfway through the center, until your knife hits the pit. Remove the pit and open up the date slightly without separating the halves.
Mix the ricotta, orange blossom water and vanilla in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag (or a sandwich bag with one small corner cut off, or just use a spoon!) and fill the center of each date with ricotta until just overflowing.
Crush the pistachios and sprinkle all over each date. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Audio pairing: Pharoahe Monch, “Push”