Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins
Fancy shmancy, but very easy to make. Very MiddleEastern/Mediterranean! You can serve it as a fruity appetizer or as a dessert.
- 1 bottle light-bodied red wine, like beaujolais
- 8 medjool dates
- 16 whole almonds, skin on,lightly toasted
- 1⁄4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
- 1 tablespoon clove
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, dry or fresh
- 4 whole allspice berries
- 2 two inch cinnamon sticks
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1⁄4 lb mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- sea salt, for serving
- In a medium saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer.
- Add the dates and poach until the skins blister.
- With a slotted spoon, lift out the dates and, while warm, remove and discard the skins.
- Cut open the dates on one long side, remove the pits and place two almonds in the center of each date.
- Fold closed.
- To the wine, add the honey, peppercorns, cloves, orange zest, allspice, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf.
- Continue simmering until the wine is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
- Strain wine into a clean saucepan.
- Add the dates to the wine and heat gently, over a medium low heat, until warmed through, but not hot, then remove from heat.
- To serve, place a dollop of mascarpone in the center of each of four plates.
- Spoon two dates and a little wine sauce on each plate, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and serve.
WOW Mirj, these are sooo special!! Not enough stars to give! First of all I thought cheeze, a whole bottle of wine, seemed like such a lot for 8 dates. Was I wrong, by the time it was reduced with the spices, it was exactly right. And the aroma while reducing, filled the house with heaven!! And the taste,I wish I had better words to describe it, the sweet warm spiceyness of the dates,almonds and sauce with the coolness of the mascarpone and the touch of salt was perfection!! I really have to restrain myself, I shouldn't even have had one, but I had to, the aroma just captured me and the devil made me do it!! One less for DH and the rest. This one will become a part of the special stuff we do for the Holiday season and for real special company! Thank-you so much for posting it.
I made it and i will make it again before rating it but this is what i think. First of all it's way too much wine. Even reduced by half it's way too much wine. I ended up using less than half of the reduced wine. Second - the listed amount of spices is too much. It gave the wine a bitter taste and an odd flavor that really didn't give any hint about cloves or pepper or anything but something not-quite-right. Maybe having to boil so much wine until is reduced by half took out all the flavors from the spices and I was left with their bitter taste. I'll try again using half the wine, 1/4 of spices or less and a pinch of salt to balance bitterness.
Oh my goodness - this was amazing. I had this desert at Mario Batali's Lupa the other night and was dying to replicate it. This recipe is perfect!! Because it's so rich and sweet, I served it with a slightly chilled semi-dry Moscato di'Asti for balance. Hats off to you - the recipe is PERFECT! Thanks so much!