Date and Orange Pastries Recipe
300 g pitted dates
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, crushed
120 ml orange juice
150 g butter, melted
50 g almond paste
finely pared zest of 20 kumquats or 1 orange, blanched and
8 sheets of filo pastry, each 20-cm square
icing sugar, to dust
juice of 4 oranges
juice of 2 lemons
180 g sugar
15 cardamom pods, bruised
Mince the dates in a blender or mini-processor, then transfer to a small pan. Add the cumin seeds, orange juice and 100 g butter. Cook on a low heat for 15-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in the almond paste and kumquat or orange zest, then set aside to cool.
Brush one sheet of filo pastry with butter, lay another sheet on top and brush again with butter. Put two spoonfuls of date filling along one side and roll up the pastry to enclose the filling; twist the ends like a toffee wrapper to seal. Place on a greased baking tray and brush with butter. Repeat to make another 3 pastries, then rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Bake the pastries for 10-12 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the sauce, put the orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and cardamom pods in a heavy-based pan. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then boil to reduce to a thick syrup. Allow to cool.
To serve, dust each pastry with icing sugar, cut diagonally in two and arrange on a plate. Drizzle with the citrus cardamom sauce.