It’s been a rough week for me in the kitchen. As you can see, it’s Friday afternoon and I’m only now writing my first post for the week. On Tuesday I was planning to write a post about Alton Brown’s from-scratch microwave popcorn. After several burned batches of popcorn and an error message on my microwave, I decided to nix that idea—popcorn made on the stove tastes better anyway.
Onto Backup Plan #1: Breaded Acorn Squash Slices. This sounded like an interesting twist on roasted winter squash. I sliced the squash thin so they’d be crispy and cook through thoroughly, but the slices were too thin and the breadcrumbs outnumbered the squash. A mouthful of breadcrumbs is not my idea of enhancing a vegetable. There’s potential in this recipe; it just needs more practice.
Okay, Backup Plan #2: Pumpkin Pie. Yes, I blogged about Pumpkin Pie two weeks ago, but this post was going to be about how you can freeze extra pie dough if you don’t feel like cooking two pies at once. When I blind-baked my defrosted crust, however, the sides shrunk down and the center puffed. This is probably because I forgot to prick the crust with a fork before baking it. Nonetheless, I still couldn’t say positively one can freeze homemade pie dough with success, and I couldn’t get a pretty pie picture (it still tasted good, though!).
That left Backup Plan #3: Date Butter. In a rush of desperation after my failed culinary ventures, I thought I’d whip together a simple Date Butter. We had a few dates in the cupboard, just enough to make a half-batch. Unfortunately, I did not read the directions thoroughly and ended up with a Date Butter twice as watery as it should have been. With no time to go buy more dates, I left the watery butter in the blender overnight and vowed I’d get more dates in the morning and make the butter the right consistency. Thankfully, the extra handful of dates smoothed the watery mess into a sweet, spreadable paste, reminiscent of pumpkin butter or apple butter. The uses for Date Butter are manifold: spread on toast or pancakes; sweeten your hot beverage; use it as a sugar substitute in baked goods; or top off your vanilla ice cream with a spoonful of date butter. If you need further inspiration, check out the blog 101 Uses for Date Syrup.
This recipe is from Zoe of ZOMT Bakes. The proportions of dates to water that Zoe uses result in a Date Syrup, but I added more dates to make it into a butter consistency.
RAW DATE BUTTER
10 Medjool dates, pitted (or 20 normal dates, pitted) [I used about 5 additional dates to get a butter consistency]
1¾ cups water
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Make the Date Butter
Cut the dates into large chunks and place all ingredients in a blender. Process for a few minutes until smooth and completely blended. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Makes about 2 cups.