zagoura dates

and while we may not have made it to the sahara with papa as we had planned (and thank goodness we didn't because of how sick we became the evening he left) - we are still able to savour his visit by way of his incredible photographs and, yes of course with the luscious sweet dates he brought back - grown, picked and packed in the region!

this is my take on a semifreddo using zagoura dates, pecans for crunch and maple syrup for sweetening - a sticky date pudding ice cream if you will! semifreddo is a simple soft ice cream with no need to churn or whisk or anything like that (which suits me just fine these busy days).

you will need:
(for 4-6 persons)

1 cup good quality dates, pitted, roughly chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 whole free-range egg + 4 free-range egg yolks
1/2 pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder, or 1 tsp essence
350ml creme fraiche or double cream

steep dates in boiling water for about 20-30 minutes, drain well. blend dates using a potato masher or bar mixer/processor until a rough pulp. meanwhile bring a saucepan of water to boil - and resting a metal bowl on top gently whisk your eggs and maple syrup on a gentle heat until pale and thickened (careful not to scramble your eggs), take off the heat and stir in vanilla, pecans ands date mixture. finally fold in creme fraiche and stir until combined. pour into a loaf tin lined with plastic cling film. rest in a stable place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. un-mould on a plate for serving and drizzle with a little maple syrup... or just eat with spoons from the tin as we ended up doing - either way, so delicious!