Recipe – Date & Almond Ladies Fingers


The inspiration for these delicious fillo fingers comes from my friend Janni Kyritsis, who uses the same technique to make simple savoury snacks filled with anchovy, feta and olives. I don’t have a very sweet tooth and I love the contrast of the salted butter and subtle sweetness of the icing sugar in these sweet ladies fingers; if you prefer a sweeter flavour add some castor sugar to the filling. Along with a short strong Middle Eastern coffee, try a nip of anisey Arak Fakra with these sweet treats.

Makes 12 pieces

Ingredients
  • 3 sheets fillo pastry
  • 60g slivered almonds
  • 60g pitted dates
  • 50g salted butter, melted
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
Method
  1. Remove fillo pastry from the fridge and set aside in the box to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  3. Blitz almonds and dates together in a small food processor.
  4. Divide into 3 equal portions
  5. Place 1 sheet of pastry vertically on a clean, dry work bench (leaving the rest under a cloth to stop them drying out).
  6. Brush the top half of it well with butter then fold it onto the unbuttered half.
  7. Brush with more butter.
  8. Squeeze a portion of the almond and date mixture into thin logs and place them end to end along the length of the fillo about 1cm from the top.
  9. Roll up as tightly as possible, so it’s the thickness of a finger, and place on a baking paper-lined baking tray seam side down.
  10. Repeat with remaining fillo and filling.
  11. Brush fingers well with butter.
  12. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until well-coloured and crisp; don’t be tempted to remove them too soon as all the layers of pastry need to cook through.
  13. Cut each roll into 4 pieces, dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.

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