Dates have had a resurgence lately. They’re the natural sweetener in shakes and energy balls and the basis for many vegan candies. Dates add great pops of sweetness to salads and depth of flavor in braises. I’ve always been a fan, but my daughter wasn’t. Until now. Until Prosciutto and Date Palmiers.
Before these palmiers, Emily couldn’t get past the “look” of the dates. They just didn’t appeal to her. I have a stuffed date recipe that is a standard hors d’oeuvres anytime we entertain — she wouldn’t touch them.
I love those stuffed dates because the assembly is simple and I always get raves from my guests. At one Christmas party, I literally had people following me to snatch more from the tray as I circulated through the crowd. Emily was unmoved.
I guess dates are like prunes – you know that it’s just a dried plum, that they are sweet and satisfying, but there’s just something about their look that you don’t quite trust. I get it.
In an effort to convince her, I decided to transform the look of the dates into something she would readily accept. My strategy involved puff pastry and making a spreadable paste with the dates. You see where I’m going with this? I took a few more liberties, adding walnuts for crunch and layers of salty prosciutto.
It worked! Not only did Emily inhale these without hesitation, when I brought them to my neighbor’s dinner party — even the normally gluten free crowd, wanted a taste. If you’re making them for a party, I’d suggest a double batch!
- 1 cup dried dates pitted and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 sheet of puff pastry thawed
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 4-6 thin slices proscuitto
- 3/4 cup shredded manchego cheese
- In a small food processor, add the dates. Add about half of the water and process dates until a paste forms. You will need to scrape down the sides and process several times. If it's too dry, or not coming together add more water and process until it has the spreading consistency of peanut butter. Set aside.
- Flour your work surface and unfold the puff pastry on top of it. Sprinkle the pastry lightly with flour to avoid sticking. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a little less than a quarter inch thick, trying to maintain the rectangular shape.
- Spread date paste evenly over the dough, leaving about one half inch of dough open for sealing dough after you roll it up.
- Sprinkle dates evenly with the walnuts.
- Arrange the proscuitto in a single layer over the walnuts.
- Sprinkle the manchego in an even layer over the proscuitto.
- Starting with the longer side of the dough, roll up into a pinwheel. Press slightly to seal the edge. Wrap in saran wrap and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. Set aside.
- Using a very sharp knife, cut palmiers into 1/2"rounds and place them 1 inch apart on baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes until slightly puffed and golden brown. Serve.
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