Dates and almond jam

Dates and almond jam

Cairo Kitchen
10 medium jars
Jonathan Gregson

Even though this jam recipe is a little labour intensive because you have to peel and pit the dates, then stuff each one with an almond, it is worthwhile in the end as it is not so easy to find in stores. This recipe evokes a feeling of nostalgia as it was more common in the past to spend time making batches to last the year. The jam is best eaten with bread and a dollop of ishta (clotted cream) or with yogurt as a sweet snack.


Quantity Ingredient
2kg fresh dates
200g blanched whole almonds
1.5kg sugar
2 lemons, juiced
10 cloves
1 cinnamon stick


  1. Peel and pit the dates.
  2. Place a small plate in the freezer to prepare for the ‘setting test’.
  3. Stuff each date with one almond.
  4. Place the stuffed dates in a large pot containing 1 litre water. Add the sugar, lemon juice, cloves and cinnamon. Bring to the boil, stirring carefully until the sugar dissolves, then reduce the heat and simmer for an hour until the jam gels and reaches setting point.
  5. Test for the setting point by removing the plate from the freezer and placing a few drops of jam on the plate. Allow it to cool for a minute.
  6. Push the jam with your finger. If it wrinkles and does not run back, you have reached the setting point, otherwise place the dish back in the freezer and try again after 10 minutes. Repeat the process until you reach the setting point.
  7. Once the setting point has been reached, take the pot off the heat and ladle the hot jam into sterilised jars (you can sterilise the jars by washing and drying in the oven at 180°C).
  8. Store the jam in a cool, dry place and refrigerate once opened. The jam will last for 6 months.
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