I’ve been wanting to make this for a very very long time. Well, very very can be a very subjective term indeed. It can mean a year in your case. Or it can mean 12 days, as it is in my case. It really has been 12 days (and yes, I’ve been counting!) since I thought of making this preserve and it has been on top of my mind all these days but I still couldn’t manage it. If it was a case of sheer laziness that struck me one day, it was due to the discovery of the title ingredient missing from the pantry shelf the other day.
When you are away from cooking for a really long time (need I say I really really love to cook) it can be really tiresome to eat anything prepared and served to you, even your favorite dish. And your mind starts working on what you want to make first when you get the opportunity. At that particular moment 12 days ago I was eating a cheese sandwich and munching dates and figs on the side when the thought came to my mind – i need to cook somethinginteresting! And although I’m no big fan of jams, sweet spreads and preserves, it struck me that a preserve of dates and figs would not be a bad idea.
And after procrastinating for 12 days (can anyone tell, without counting of course, how many times I’ve harped about 12 so far?) I finally did what should have been done 12 days ago – prepared a preserve (ok, call it jam or spread if you so prefer) with dates and figs. And here’s what you must do – especially if you are a fan of either dates, or figs or preserves, or all three! – make this today because it is not worth putting off at all!
Date ‘n Fig Preserve
Dried dates – 1/2 cup
Dried Figs – 12 nos (chopped)
Cashew nuts – 6 nos (chopped)
Raisins – 1 tbsp
Orange Juice/ Nutella – 1 tbsp
Soak the dates and half the figs in just enough water and microwave for 8 mins, stirring once after every 2 mins. Alternatively, you could boil the dates and the figs in some water on a stove-top for a few mins or even just soak them in boiling water and cover with a lid for 15 mins. The idea is to get the dates nice and mushy. Add the raisins to the hot dates and let cool.
Strain any remaining water and grind the mushy dates and figs with the nuts into a coarse paste.
Add the remaining figs and orange juice/Nutella to the preserve. Mix well
Store in an airtight container. The preserve will last in the refrigerator for a week.
Use it as a spread for bread toast, or spread a layer of the preserve in between a horizontally sliced vanilla cake for a rustic effect.