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Ricotta Stuffed Bacon Dates

Recipe courtesy of Rolling Meadows Dairy

INGREDIENTS

For Ricotta

  • 4 cups (960 ml) of Rolling Meadow Dairy 3.5 per cent Milk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) butter milk
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt

For Dates

  • 24 medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ cup (120 ml) ricotta cheese
  • 1 clementine, zested
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 6 bacon strips
METHOD

Makes about 30 cookies

Ricotta

  1. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a bowl.
  2. Add all ingredients to a medium-sized pot and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
  3. Once the curds start to separate from the whey (you will see it clump), stir once more, reduce heat to low and allow to cook for an additional two minutes.
  4. Gently ladle the mixture into the cheesecloth, cover and allow to strain for about 30 minutes.

Dates

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut off one end of each date and use a chopstick to gently push the pit out of the other end to create a cavity to fill with ricotta.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, add ricotta, clementine zest, thyme and a few cracks of black pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Place ricotta mixture in a small plastic bag. Push down into one corner and cut off the tip to make a piping bag. Fill each date with mixture.
  5. Cut each strip of bacon in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise to get four small ribbons. Wrap each date with one ribbon, securing with a toothpick through the belly of the date.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until bacon is cooked. Serve warm.
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