I had purchased a pound of fresh dates recently, and we ate on them a bit before realizing we all like them just a bit riper. In interest of not having them go to waste, I decided to go on ahead and make a rice pudding. Dates are naturally high in sugar, and although these were less sweet than I prefer, I only added just a touch of sugar to compensate for that. Additionally, I made for dinner something I was fairly certain the Piggy wasn't going to enjoy, so this functioned as her dinner and our dessert, as rice is amongst her favorite foods no matter how it's prepared. Hope you enjoy!
1/2 stick butter
12 ounces fresh dates, pitted and chopped (I just cut these in quarters lengthwise, then cut them in half width-wise)
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
juice of 1 small lemon (probably 2 tablespoons)
1 cup rice
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, then add dates, sugar, and lemon juice. Cover and let cook 20-30 minutes, or until dates are very soft. Add rice, milk, and cream, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the liquids are absorbed. If you like, this can be garnished with candied lemon peel. Serves 4.