Sephardic-Style Date Haroset
or almonds, finely chopped
If desired you can substitute dark raised for up to half the dates.
Put the dates and water into a medium sized saucepan and let them soak for 1 hour.
Then bring them to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes, or until they are very soft and form a paste.
During the cooking period, stir the dates often, and mash then with a spoon to help break them down.
To smooth out the paste, press it through a sieve, colander, or food mill, or purée it in a food processor.
If the purée is too thin and does not have a rich date taste, return it to the saucepan and simmer it down to the desired consistency, keeping in mind that it will thicken slightly more as it cools.
Let the date paste cool to room temperature.
Stir in the desired amounts of wine and cinnamon.
Stir in the nuts and/or sprinkle them on top.
Store the paste in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 2 weeks.
For the best flavor, let it come to room temperature before serving.