• 1 ½ lb pitted dates
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Place the dates in a bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour.
  2. Transfer dates to a blender or food processor. Do not discard the water. Blend dates and add the water in small increments until you have the desired texture—thick but spreadable.
  3. Add the salt and lemon zest. Refrigerate.
  4. Use in rugelach, hamantaschen, and other pastries. Spread on toast with ricotta and chopped nuts, or stir a dollop through a cup of plain yogurt.
  5. Refrigerate for 2-3 weeks, or freeze in an airtight container.

Yields: 3 cups date paste