These crispy date bites in phyllo are addictive and delicious. They combine the crispy thin filo pastry with the natural sweeteners of dates and raisins. These date samosas taste best lukewarm, but they also remain a delicacy when eaten cold. You can enjoy them as a sweet snack with a glass of mint tea, as a dessert with a cup of coffee, or even for breakfast. This way you start your day full of energy!
How to make crispy date bites in phyllo?
Actually, this date filo pastry snack is very easy to make. The only real hurdle is to orderly wrap the date filling in the phyllo dough. Nowadays I like to do that in samosa form, those triangular dough forms you know from Indian cuisine. But we'll start at the beginning, and that's the evening before.
The evening before
We do the first small preparatory step the evening before. We squeeze an orange and soak the raisins in the fresh orange juice. In this way they absorb the juice and especially the taste of the orange.
And that's it for today. Tomorrow we will blend, fold and bake.
The making of the date filling
The date mixture will be the filling of the samosas, the phyllo dough snack that we are going to make. And to make it we first need a blender. We place the dates, pistachios and walnuts in it. Then we finely grind them.
Once that is ground finely, we can take the mixture out an add the other ingredients, as well as the seasoning. We squeeze the largest moisture out of the raisins and cut the marzipan into small cubes. Next we add the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Don't be stingy with these herbs, as you should taste some of the orient in the pastries. Then we knead the mass with one hand until everything is well mixed. After that you can already drain your thumb and fingers and taste how delicious the date filling is.
Folding and baking the samosas
Now it is time to take the phyllo dough out of the fridge. Don’t do this any sooner! The dough is very thin and fragile, so you have to handle it very carefully. For the triangles I cut the dough lengthwise into four strips. Then I halve each of those bars. So we can make eight snacks with 1 sheet of filo pastry.
Folding the samosas
To make the samosa, we first put a large teaspoon of the date mass at the bottom of one of the pieces of filo pastry. Then we flap the bottom corner (I always take the left) over the date mass so that we have a triangle with two 45° angles and one right angle. Now press the date mass a bit. Next you flip the package further into the filo pastry, until you have wrapped the entire sheet around the date snack.
One picture often says more than 1000 words. Or in this case one video can do the thing. That's why I looked for a recipe with video where a samosa is folded in a similar way. If you take a look at this video, you will know for sure how to fold phyllo dough triangles.
You have several options to close the filo pastry samosa. The first one is to simply wet the edges with water and stick them together. But the other options are to use egg whites or melted butter.
Baking the crispy date bites in phyllo
Finally, we can bake the date snacks until crispy. This can be done either in the pan or in the oven. Grease a pan with a very small amount of oil. Then heat the pan on a medium heat and put the samosas in it when the pan is hot. Now fry them for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown.
Another option is to bake them in the oven. Which is also a good alternative, especially for larger quantities. To do this, preheat the oven to 180°C. Cover a baking tray with baking paper and place our date triangles in filo dough on it. After about ten minutes they will normally be nice and golden brown and you can take them out of the oven.
What is phyllo dough?
You could say phyllo dough is the small brother of a puff pastry. It consists only of flour, water and a very small amount of vegetable oil. It is then rolled out into very thin sheets. As a result, it is also very very fragile. So you have to handle it with care.
Precisely because it is so thin and fragile, you should not remove it from the refrigerator until you are going to use it. They are often placed under a damp cloth. Sheets of filo pastry dry out very quickly, and then they become soggy and break.
If you can't find filo pastry, or you're not that handy, you can also use puff pastry as an alternative. Then cut off small pieces in which you wrap the date mass once.
The most notable difference between puff pastry and filo pastry is of course that it is much thicker. Puff pastry actually consists of many, many layers of filo pastry, with a layer of butter in between. It is therefore logical that puff pastry contains much more fat.
- Filo (Wikipedia).
- Puff pastry (Wikipedia).
- Phyllo dough (bakerpedia).
- Phyllo, Fillo or filo pastry dough (crafty baking).
- What’s the difference between phyllo and puff pastry? (The Kitchn)
What are samosas?
You may have noticed that we often use the word “samosa” to refer to out crispy date bites in phyllo. But what exactly is a samosa? And where does it come from? We'll summarize it here.
A samosa is a dish from the Indian/Pakistani/Nepalese cuisine. And it is a triangular pastry of phyllo or puff pastry with a filling, which is deep fried. Usually these samosas are savory and are served as a starter or as a side dish.
It is a typical street food from India that you can buy in a stall on the edge of every street. Usually they are made with a vegetarian filling, based on potatoes or chickpeas. You have them in spicy (hot hot hot) and less spicy variants.
- Samosa (Wikipedia).
- What is a samosa? (Delighted cooking).
- What is a samosa, and how to make? (Spice and life).
I love dates so much! These palm fruits are tasty, nutritious and packed with natural sweeteners. This also gives them their delicious taste. Here you will find other tasty recipes with a starring role for dates:
- Dates filled with goat cheese and walnuts.
- Creamy date snack with smoked mackerel.
- Chestnut date mousse.
If you speak Dutch, you can find the Dutch version of this recipe on gerechtenweb.blog.