The ratio of nuts to dates is about 6 to 1 to get the sweetness just right. Again, it took several attempts to exactly match the taste and texture of the jar we bought, and we feel that we achieved it. By the way, a 12-ounce jar of this product was $12.99 at the supermarket and $20 on Amazon, so making your own will save money.
1 pound pecan halves or pieces
10 pitted dates, about 2 ounces
1 ½ teaspoons of a neutral oil, we used grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt*
Place pecans in a dry saute pan and over medium heat toast until browned. Toss often (every ten seconds or so) so they don’t burn. As soon as they are toasted, pour out of the hot pan onto a plate or small sheet tray to cool. Let cool completely to room temperature.
Check to make that all of the dates are in fact pitted. I found out the hard way that sometimes a few unpitted dates get mixed in.
Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor along with the oil and puree until smooth. With my high-speed food processor, it took about a minute or two to get the dates to a gummy consistency.
Remove the pureed date mixture to a small bowl.
In the same food processor bowl, add the now cooled pecans. Process in 15 second blasts, removing the cover for a second to release heat. I found out through trial and error that if you just let it go, the heat from friction and the food processor motor will heat the nuts and separate the oil from the nut solids. Once that happens, there is nothing you can do to correct it and you must start over.
Keep pulsing for 15 seconds and eventually the nuts will go from pieces to ground, to a fine ground and finally to a smooth creamy consistency. To get mine to a smooth creamy consistency took about 2-3 minutes, stopping every 15 seconds to make sure the mixture did not heat up too much.
Once the nuts are creamy, add the pureed dates back in along with the salt and pulse just to combine.
Taste and add more salt as needed.
* Himalayan pink salt is similar to table salt and is mined in Pakistan. It has a high percentage of sodium chloride which gives it a very strong salt taste. If you can not get this salt, substitute kosher salt. Taste and add more as needed, since kosher salt is not as salty as the Himalayan pink salt.
Keywords: pecan date butter, make your own nut butter