Date Cheesecake Recipe, Mixing Arab Ingredients into American Cuisine
By: Mariam Alyakoob / Arab America Contributing Writer
Everyone loves cheesecake, but have you ever tried it with dates? And by date, I don’t mean the awkward social appointment where one tries to get to know a potential partner, I am talking about the incredibly popular Middle Eastern Fruit.
Dates, or ‘Tamer’ in Arabic, are incredibly popular across the Arab World, and are used in a variety of Arabic desserts, one popular example being Ma’amoul. The Middle East is the largest producer of dates, with the highest volume coming from countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. The date is produced from the date palm tree, which takes about four years to grow and thrives in climates with full suns.
Dates are also incredibly important in the Islamic faith, having been traced as far back as 4000 BCE. During Ramadan, many muslims across the world break their fasts by eating a date.
So, this cheesecake is special because it has a bit of a Middle Eastern twist to it. Now let’s get started.
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 4 packs of biscuits
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of dates (around 8 pieces)
- 4 sticks cream cheese
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Crush the biscuits so that it becomes a powder.
- Mix the crushed bisuits with the butter, which has been melted, as well as ¼ cup of sugar.
- Pour the biscuit mixture into a non-stick pan, and flatten to create the base, then refrigerate until firm.
- Take your dates and cut each date into 4 smaller pieces.
- On medium heat, pour your dates and then pour around a cup of water. Keep water on heat until it boils, then remove and let the mixture cool.
- In a separate bowl, soften the cream cheese, then add the remaining ¾ cup of sugar, the brown sugar, vanilla and your eggs. Beat eggs in one at a time. Mix well.
- Remove the dates from the cooled water, and add to the cream cheese mixture.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture into the refrigerated pan.
- Place into an oven that is set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
- Let cool and refrigerate for 6 hours.
- (Optional) melt chocolate and pour on top of the cheesecake.
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