This is the season of Ramadan and one of the traditional foodstuffs of this holiday are dates. The date market in Cairo is full to overflowing with a variety of dates in all shapes and sizes during this festive season.
Date palm paintings can be found in the tombs of the Pharaohs, indicating that this stately tree and sweet fruit has been cultivated in Egypt since the time of hieroglyphs. Here is a simple but sweet recipe.
* 4 C. water
* 2 cups pitted dates
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup raisins, washed
* 6 whole cloves
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1/2 cup whipping cream
Heat the water in a pot until boiling, then add the dates and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the dates with a slotted spoon, cool and peel, then set aside. Reserve the cooking water.
Bring the reserved water to a boil, add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the raisins, cloves, and dates, and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat. Add the lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
Place in fruit cups. Whip the cream until frothy, then spoon over the dates before serving.
Last Updated: June 7th, 2011