Date paste is used as a filling in many Moroccan and Mediterranean pastries. It is also great for making date bars and truffles. It is sold in Middle Eastern stores and online but can be made at home, easily and quickly.
1 cup chopped dates
Two ways to make date paste
In the microwave
Place 1 cup chopped, pitted dates in a bowl. Add 2/3 cup water. Microwave on high for 2.5 minutes. Remove the bowl carefully from the microwave as it will be very hot. Drain the dates. Discard the liquid. Place the dates on a cutting board and press with a fork or potato ricer to mash them into a paste.
In the steamer
Steam 1 cup chopped, pitted dates in a steaming basket over a pot of boiling water or in an electric steamer until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the dates to a cutting board and press with a fork or potato ricer to mash them into a paste.
Note: Date paste from steamed dates is stickier and darker than the one obtained from microwaved dates.
Yields about 1/2 cup date paste.