Last weekend, my greengrocer gave me some dates to try and I was totally surprised, because I haven't ever had such juicy and fresh dates. Of course, I had to take a box home with me. It is very important for me to cook using local and sesonal ingredients from local producers, but once in a while I grant myself some exotic fruits like a ripe mango or exotic spices. I try compansate or balance this (in order to calm my conscience) with not eating (of course not only because of that, I do not do that anyway) endangered fish spieces such as tuna, monkfish and so on. My favourite kind of date is the Medjool, I guess it is also called as the king of dates. The one, I used in this ice cream, that was served with hibiscus syrup, is probably a Khadrawi date, but I am not sure, and I couldn't find it out.
Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around the Persian Gulf, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to be made into date wine, and ate them at harvest. Dates ripen in four stages, which are known throughout the world by their Arabic names kimri (unripe), khalal (full-size, crunchy), rutab (ripe, soft), tamr (ripe, sun-dried). Since dates contain relatively little water, they do not become much more concentrated upon drying, although the vitamin C is lost in the process. (source:wikipedia)
250 ml milk
63 g sugar
1/2 vanilla pod
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon rosewater
Bring milk with 2/3 of the sugar to the boil among the halved vanilla pod. Beat egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until creamy and pale. Pour boiled milk over the egg yolk mixture while stirring. Put it back to the heat and over very low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, let it thicken until it is thick enough to cover the back of the spoon. Let it cool, best over night. Pit dates, remove the skin if possible, if not later when it gets pureed you can press it through a fine sieve. Cook chopped dates in sherry and rose water, puree and stir it into the cool crème anglaise. Let the ice cream maker do the rest of the work.
I submit this post to the WHB created by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen, who passed it on to Haalo, of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, this time hosted by Prof Kitty from The Cabinet of Prof. Kitty .