Dates and pistachios are a classic combination in Persian cuisine.
In this cake, they’re paired with candied oranges and zest to add mild citrus and bitter notes to balance out the sweetness of the dates.
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup semolina
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, melted
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup+¼ cup pistachios,
1 cup+½ cup sugar
1 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Soak the dates in hot water for about half an hour, to soften.
- Drain and blend in a food processor until smooth.
- Toast the semolina in a dry skillet until lightly browned.
- Add flour and baking powder that has been pre-mixed.
- In a large bowl, mix melted butter, sweetened condensed milk, and egg using a hand mixer.
- Add the date paste and blend well.
- Slowly add the flour mixture, and mix well.
- Lastly, add the chopped pistachios and incorporate.
- Butter and flour a 9” round baking pan, and pour in batter.
- Smooth out the top, and bake in the oven for approximately 30–40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan.
- Peel zest from 2 oranges and simmer in the sugar water syrup for about 7 minutes, until the peels are translucent.
- Remove the zest and set aside in a bowl.
- Slice the remaining oranges into ¼ slices, and sprinkle with ½ cup of sugar on a foil-lined sheet pan.
- Broil until the sugar starts to caramelize and the oranges brown around the edges.
- When the cake is ready, top with sliced oranges and orange zest.
- Pour the remaining orange syrup to soak the cake.
- Top with remaining pistachios.
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