Many recipes nowadays use dates as a sweetener but many recommend using soft un-dried dates, which although available, they are very expensive. I like to use dried dates which are much cheaper and I make my own date puree. In my latest book Easy Tasty Healthy I have kept the quantity of dates the same in recipes so that I can make the puree up in bulk and store it in the freezer. It means that whenever I want to make a cake or pudding the dates are ready. In this recipe I’ve included the quantities for 1 or6 portions in case you too want to make the puree in bulk.
1 Place the dates in a pan with the water and bring to the boil then remove from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes or until the dates are soft (I often leave dates overnight to soak especially if they are quite dry)
2 Blend the soaked dates and any remaining liquid until smooth in a food processor. The finished product should have a soft, dropping consistency – in other words, lift it up on a spoon and it should easily fall off. Add a little more water if needed.
3 Use the puree as needed in recipes. If making up in bulk divide the mixture evenly between six airtight containers- weigh each portion to be exact and store in the freezer, taking out a portion when you decide to bake (it defrosts quite quickly) The puree can be cut in half even when frozen if a recipe calls for half a portion. It will also keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks if you don’t have freezer space.