This week’s flavour features a sticky favourite: dates. Dates are the fruit of date palm trees. They are commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking and often paired with orange, almond, and honey flavours. How about rolling all of these flavours into one ice cream? I figured an orange-honey base with chopped dates and toasted sliced almonds would be a fantastic combination.
Dates are a bit sticky to work with, so here are few tips:
1) To prevent the dates from sticking to your knife while chopping, lightly coat your knife with some oil or cooking spray.
2) To prevent the chopped dates from sticking together in one big clump when you’re churning them into the ice cream, soak them overnight in a bit of hot water and Grand Marnier. (The Grand Marnier optional, but it will infuse the dates with a subtle orange flavour.)
Results? Yum! The soft, sticky dates contrasted really well with the crunch of the flaky almonds, and the orange-honey flavours were perfectly balanced. Using honey as a sweetener also made the ice cream super scoopable. Bookmark this recipe — it’s the perfect dessert to finish a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean-themed dinner!
Date Orange Almond Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)
3/4 cup chopped dried dates
2 tablespoons of hot water
1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier (or substitute an extra tablespoon of hot water)
2/3 cup honey
A pinch of sea salt
3 cups half-and-half cream
Juice and finely chopped zest of one large orange
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds