Date Pie By Najmieh Batmanglij

Rating: 
Yield: 
15 pieces.
Ingredients: 

Filling:
1 cup coarsely chopped raw pistachio kernels
3 cups pitted dates

Roux:
1 cup oil or unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose
flour, sifted

Dusting:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Garnish:
1 cup ground pistachios or toasted shredded coconut

Instructions: 

In a wide skillet, toast the pistachios over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, shaking the skillet back and forth. Set aside and allow to cool. Stuff each date with a few pistachio kernels. Arrange the dates, packed next to each other, in a flat 9-inch pie dish. To make the roux: In a wide, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, add the flour, and fry, stirring con­stantly for about 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture is a golden caramel color (beware to neither undercook nor overcook the flour). Spread the hot roux over the dates, pack down, and smooth out with the back of a spoon to create an even surface. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon, cardamom, and confectioners’ sugar. Sprinkle evenly over the pie while still warm. Sprinkle the ground pistachios evenly over the surface. Allow to cool thoroughly. Just before serving, cut in small pieces (traditionally diamond shaped). Carefully arrange these on a serving plat­ter or serve on the same plate.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!