A host of flavours and textures come together in this elegant yet easy recipe. Soft, caramel Medjool dates are balanced with a fine-textured Ricotta cheese filling. The flavour of the cheese is slightly sweetened with the addition of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon adds subtle warmth on the palate. Each creamy bite is complemented with the crunch of chopped walnuts and crisp fresh pear. You can just as easily serve this to a roomful of guests or prepare it as a delicious (and still nutritious) snack for yourself.
I’m just totally on a roll when it comes to maple and cinnamon, I guess. Oddly enough, I’ve had this recipe in my “Drafts” for several weeks but just never seemed to have all of the required ingredients on hand to make it (Ricotta cheese is a “specialty” item here in Ulsan, South Korea so I can only ask Mr. Golden Graham to buy it every other week during his pilgrimage to Costco). And I kept snacking my way through all of the dates in the house before I could actually use them in a new recipe. But by jove, I knew I wanted to make this on Sunday as a special treat for myself! And then it was just a matter of getting my act together to share it with you, dear reader.
Why Sunday, you may wonder? Well, even if you weren’t wondering, Sunday isn’t a special “treat” day for me, or anything like that (although I DO take advantage of my weekends to do a lot of my baking and recipe-testing). Somehow I got talked into
competingparticipating in our apartment complex’s annual mini-triathlon on Saturday (whereas the week prior I hadn’t even given it a second thought and breezily declared I wasn’t planning on entering). Nevermind that the last time I’d been on a bicycle was precisely one year ago, when I did the same infernal triathlon. The extent of my “training” for this triathlon consisted of 1 swim on Wednesday, 1 swim on Thursday, and riding Mr. Golden Graham’s mountain bike to and from work on Friday (we don’t have a road bike). FYI this is NOT a strategy that I would recommend for athletic competition of any kind. I suffered through the event with a serious stitch in my side dropping me to third place during the run (see, I knew I should have gone for a run at least once in the week leading up!). At any rate, I fully expected to be in need of a little TLC on Sunday. And while I don’t necessarily suggest eating as a way to solve one’s problems (other than the problem of hunger), taking the time to prepare and enjoy a special recipe for myself was just the therapy I needed to get over the assorted aches and pains of the race.
Here’s the (pain-free) recipe – I hope you benefit from it, too!
Maple Cinnamon Ricotta Stuffed Dates with Walnuts & Pear
An easy yet elegant recipe, each serving features a sweet caramel Medjool date stuffed with a ricotta cheese filling and topped with walnut and pear.
Author: The Golden Graham Girl
16 large Medjool dates (368g), pitted and halved
1 cup (227g) part-skim Ricotta cheese
3 tbsp (50mL or 45g) of pure maple syrup
1 tsp (5g) cinnamon
1/3 cup (30g) finely chopped walnuts
1/2 medium pear (80g), washed and cut into small matchstick pieces
Sea salt, to taste
1. Use your fingers to gently open and press each date half into a bowl shape to hold the filling.
2. In a medium bowl, stir the ricotta cheese, maple syrup and cinnamon until thoroughly combined into a smooth, sweet, creamy spread (taste-testing is encouraged at this point!). Stir in the chopped walnuts.
3. Put a generous spoonful of ricotta filling into each of the 32 date halves.
4. Top each date half with a few pear matchsticks.
5. Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste.
6. For best results, serve immediately.
7. Store any leftovers in a covered container and refrigerate 1-2 days.
NUTRITION INFORMATION (2 date halves with filling)
Calories: 119 Fat: 2.8g Carbohydrates: 22.9g Sugar: 18.6g Fiber: 1.9g Protein: 2.3g
All content on The Golden Graham Girl is the original creation and property of thegoldengrahamgirl.com (unless otherwise noted).
*Please note that I am currently NOT sponsored by or affiliated with any particular brand, company or product. Any ideas, comments or opinions are my own, as mentioned in my Product Review page. However, if you choose to purchase new-to-you products I recommend using the link(s) I provide, I can earn a small credit. More information on that is available here.
Some process shots: