Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits and were enjoyed by the Babylonians some 8,000 years ago, their rich flavor pairs well with caramel, coffee, honey and warming spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
Below is a good base recipe for date butter but feel free to customize and make it your own. You can play around with the aromatics, using different spices, a splash of vanilla or you can add a squeeze of lemon or orange for a hint of citrus. You can also add flavors at the stage where you soak your dates, you could add some Earl Grey tea bags to the water or some spiced rum.
Add your pitted dates to a bowl. Bring your water to boil (you want enough to completely cover the dates). Pour the water over your dates and leave to soak for a few hours at room temperature until softened, you can also leave them overnight.
Drain your dates keeping back 250ml water (about 1 cup) of the soaking water. In a food processor, add your softened dates, molasses, spices, salt and half of your water. Pulse the mixture and keep adding more soaking water until you reach your desired consistency. You should end up with a smooth paste.
Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. It should keep for a week or so.
This date butter features in our guide on homemade gifts for foodies. Have a read here for inspiration for making homemade condiments, sweet treats, and culinary essentials.