Moroccan Orange Blossom Water adds an exotic and intriguing flavor to Pistachio Date Truffles. One of a number of Moroccan recipes I’ve recently been testing and sampling. Some of them we’ll enjoy in my January 31st healthy cooking class featuring the Bright, Bold Flavors of Morocco. I’d never before tasted orange blossom water. It’s unique flavor nicely complements chocolate. Roll these truffles in unsweetened coconut. Or perhaps as I now prefer them, rolled in unsweetened cocoa powder.
Eating nutrient-rich, uniquely flavored pistachios requires using your fingers and nails to separate the shells and release the prized nut. I grew up in the days when all pistachios were imported from the Middle East. Those pistachios had dyed red or green shells. After eating them, your fingers would be red or green accordingly.
I’ve just learned why they dyed the shells. The natural color of pistachio shells is a creamy ivory. The dye masks any stains on the shells from harvesting pistachios by hand. These days, machine harvesting pistachios leaves the shells unblemished, making dyeing unnecessary.
For the freshest pistachios, buy them still in their shells. Richer, brighter flavor makes shelling pistachios yourself more than worth the additional time and effort.
Large, moist, sweet and succulent Medjool dates originated in Morocco. No wonder dates are frequently included in Moroccan cuisine. They can be found in a wide range of savory and sweet dishes from salads to tagines to stuffing for fish and chicken, to puddings and confections.
Being soft and tender, Medjool dates require little effort to remove their pit. With a sharp knife make a slit on one side to expose and easily take out the pit.
Zhar – Moroccan Orange Blossom Water
Orange Blossom Water (aka orange flower water) flavors many traditional Moroccan dishes. It can be found in tagines, salads, beverages and confections offering the merest hint of fragrance. Begin with a little of this clear, intensely flavored liquid, adding more according to your taste.
Orange blossom water is distilled from an infusion of large quantities of highly fragrant blossoms from bitter-orange trees. Seven pounds of orange blossoms are needed to make 1 gallon of orange blossom water. Sweetly fragrant, many Moroccans perfume themselves with orange blossom water after dining.
Join Me on Saturday, January 31st 10:30-2:00 p.m.
for a Healthy Cooking Class in Bozeman, Montana
We’ll Discover and Taste
The Bright, Bold Flavors of Morocco
The 3 ½ hour class includes lunch and a folder with each of the recipes.
♥ Roasted Shrimp with Preserved Lemon
♥ Winter Seven Vegetable Tagine with Ras El Hanout, Preserved Lemon and Harissa Sauce
♥ Moroccan Oranges with Cinnamon
♥ Pistachio Date Truffles
♥ Fresh Mint Tea
$60 per person, payable upon registration. Register today as this class is almost full.
For more information and to register, send me a comment in the “Leave a Reply” box below or email me: Janice@EverydayHealthyEverydayDelicious.com
Roll in unsweetened coconut and/or cocoa powder.
Vegan, non-dairy and naturally gluten-free.
Inspired by and adapted from a recipe by Ghillie Basan, in her book Flavors of Morocco. Ms. Basan adds that these truffles are “one of the sweetmeats traditionally offered to guests with a glass of mint tea as a mark of hospitality.”
Makes 20-25 small truffles Printer-Friendly Recipe
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
7/8 cup (4 ounces) roasted, salted, shelled pistachio kernels*
¾ cup pitted Medjool dates
½ tablespoon orange blossom water (or more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
about ½ cup dried, unsweetened coconut
about ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Use a food processor to medium grind the pistachio kernels.
- Add the pitted dates and process with the pistachios until the dates are finely ground.
- Add the cinnamon, orange blossom water and vanilla extract. Process until the mixture just comes together.
- Place the ground coconut and the optional cocoa powder on separate plates.
- Roll a scant tablespoon of the mixture in your hands until it forms a rough ball. Roll the balls in the unsweetened coconut or cocoa powder until fully covered. Set aside until all of the truffles have been rolled and coated.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- Store Pistachio Date Truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no more than a week for the best flavor.
*You can also use unroasted and unsalted pistachios. Bake the shelled pistachios in a 350 degree oven until fragrant, 7-10 minutes. Let them cool before proceeding with the recipe.