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. In the absence of a store nearby or if one can’t wait for the online purchase to arrive, one can make it at home, easily and quickly. Date Paste Recipe
Here are two different ways to make date paste:
1. 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. Alternatively, process in the food processor until desired smoothness is achieved.
2. 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. Alternatively, process in the food processor until desired smoothness is achieved.
1 cup chopped dates yields about 1/2 cup date paste.
Note: Date paste from steamed dates is stickier and darker than the one obtained from microwaved dates.
Left: Paste from steamed dates. Right: Paste from microwaved dates.
P.S. When buying dates to make paste, you don’t have to buy Medjoul or other high quality dates. Cheaper, smaller, lower quality dates are all you need.