My obsession with dried fruit is at it’s worst (…or perhaps best) when it comes to dates. I can’t get enough of them. Sweet, squidgy and sticky. What a glorious snack! As dates are simply pieces of dried fruit, they contain iron, fibre and other good things too (although I don’t know if that warrants eating a whole pack in one sitting).
When the little lady and I fancy some kind of baked date goodies, I often turn to this Date and Pecan Loaf. For ages, however, I have been meaning to rustle up a date slice. You know the kind I mean: juicy dates sandwiched between two layers of oaty, buttery crumble. But, I wanted to take the sugar out and sneak in some additional linseed goodness (for the sake of healthy adults and toddlers). So, here it is. A simple and wonderful recipe for date slice.
This recipe made around 15 pieces.
- 250g stoned dried dates, chopped roughly (not the really dry ones that you buy in a block but the stickier, moist type)
- few drops vanilla extract
- 50g wholemeal plain flour
- 50g ground linseed/ flaxseed
- 100g oats
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75g unsalted butter/ vegan margarine
- 2 tbsp date syrup
- Put the dates in a small pan with 100ml water. Gently simmer with the lid on for around 5-10 minutes until the dates break down a bit, are soft and have absorbed the water (see photo). Set aside.
- Mix the flour, linseed, oats and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Gently melt the butter and date syrup together, stirring continuously. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
- Once cool, pour the butter syrup mixture into the flour. Stir well to make a firm but sticky dough.
- Grease and line a tin with baking paper. As you can see from the photos below, I used one half of a large, flat tin. A smaller tin would, obviously, also work well (probably better!)
- Press half the crumble into the tin. Smoothing it out as you go along (see photo below). This can be quite a therapeutic activity as you ensure that each bit of the crumb blends nicely into the other.
- Add the dates. Press down and smooth out as you go along.
- Add the other half of the crumble mix. Add a little bit at a time, smoothing out and blending into the crumb as you go along.
- Bake at 180 for 30 mins. Until the crumble is firm and darker brown around the edges.