Monday, September 17, 2018

Vegan Mofo 2018 Post 14: Cherry Date Filling

Well, there was this cherry date filling that worked out.
Between the Atlantic Ocean and the Nile Delta is Tunisia--formerly Ifriqiya (Africa). Tunisia is a place with beach tourist attractions, the World Heritage Site of the Ruins of Dougga, and some fifty art galleries. Tunisian diet is rich in Mediterranean flare. Ingredients such as olive oil, spices, and tomatoes are abundantly consumed. One dish that is well-known to the area is lablabi-- a chickpea and garlic stew bookmarked for the future. They love fire grilled vegetables, include black cumin in their harissa, and couscous is a primary staple. It is also number 42 (behind Morocco and Algeria) in worldwide cherry production.
Makroudh is a beloved pastry traditionally filled with dates or figs-- like a classic Fig Newton and glazed with honey and orange blossom water. I found this recipe with ingredients listed in grams and milliliters and significant errors (for example how much boiling water to add to flour and butter mixture) quite problematic. Plus, without pictorial aide, I was generally lost on accurate preparation. For one thing, the dough was too weak to roll the filling in and as end result tasted far too buttery. It obviously needed more flour.
Still, for all the effort, this refined sugar free cherry date filling is worth writing about. It is sweet and vibrant, smells heavenly (has anyone simmered cherries, dates, and spices before?), great for any successfully created makroudh or hand pie/pop tart.
I will attempt to make makroudh again (using a different recipe) and use the cherry date filling.

Cherry Date Filling Ingredients and Preparation

1 cup medjool dates
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup frozen cherries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon arrowroot (or cornstarch)

Soak medjool dates for an hour or so.
Puree and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine cherries, cherry juice, cinnamon, and cardamom on low heat for about five to seven minutes.
Pour into date mixture. Blend this together and place contents into the same saucepan, adding the arrowroot to thicken.

Bubbling cherries for the cherry fiend.

Warm, thick filling.

These makroudh are not bad, but have the potential to be better. It was my first time working with semolina flour-- flour finer than whole wheat and all-purpose. 

There also wasn't enough filling in the centers. It made sense to spoon extra on top. 


  1. Bummer about the recipe, but they still sound and look delicious!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. I have them stored in the refrigerator. They taste good cold. The filling stands out between the buttery cookies. I would make them again, but with less oils.