Rich sweet dumplings filled with dates and figs, Turdillos (toor-dec-yos) is an adaptation of an Italian recipe. The dumplings are served with a honey sauce which gives them a delicious flavour.

3 fl. oz. olive oil

6 dried figs, finely chopped

10 dried dates, stoned and finely chopped

6 fl. oz. sweet vermouth

1 lb. flour

1 oz. cup ground almonds

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying

8 fl. oz. clear honey

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the figs and dates and fry for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and set the mixture aside to cool. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the vermouth and set aside.

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the almonds, sugar and cin-namon. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the date and fig mixture. Using a wooden spoon, gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid, beating until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and place it on a floured working surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a sausage shape about 12-inches long. Cut each roll into 8 pieces.

Fill a medium-sized deep-frying pan one-third full with the vegetable oil. Set the pan over moderate heat and heat the oil until it reaches 350°F on a deep-fat thermometer or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 55 seconds.

Drop the turdillos into the oil, a few at a time, and deep-fry them for 3 minutes or until they are light brown. With a slotted spoon, remove them from the oil and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Keep hot while you fry the remaining dough in the same way.

When all the turdillos have been fried, transfer them to a large serving dish. Pour over the honey and stir the turdillos until they are thoroughly coated with the honey.

Serve immediately or set aside to cool completely before serving.

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