After several attempts I finally mastered perfect date and oat slices, having the right amount of filling and being firm enough to hold. Made with wholesome ingredients, these energy packed slices are ideal for picnics, lunch boxes or simply a snack between meals.
For the filling:
- 300g (10.6 ounces) dried dates, chopped
- 40g (1.4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 100ml (0.2 US pints) water (approx)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
For the crumble:
- 200g (7 ounces) plain or all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 150g (5.3 ounces) butter (unsalted)
- 120g (4.2 ounces) oats (plus a few extra oats to sprinkle over the top)
- 120g (4.2 ounces) granulated sugar
Equipment needed to make date and oat slices
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Kitchen scales
- Measuring jug
- Medium sized saucepan
- Stirring spoons (one for the dates and one for the crumble mixture)
- Large bowl
- Non stick baking parchment
- 20cm by 30cm (approx 8" by 12") baking tin (or equivalent size)
How to make date and oat slices
To make the date filling, place 300g (10.6 ounces) dates in a pan with 40g (1.4 ounces) granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla essence and 100ml (0.2 US pints) water. Simmer until the dates have softened and the mixture resembles pulp. Add more water if needed. Leave the mixture to cool.
To make the crumble mixture, sift 200g (7 ounces) flour into a bowl and add 2 teaspoons baking powder. Rub in 150g (5.3 ounces) butter (or use a food processor). Stir in 120g (4.2 ounces) oats and 120g (4.2 ounces) granulated sugar.
Line the tin with greaseproof paper or a non stick lining sheet. Place half the crumble mixture into the base of the baking tin and press into place with the back of a spoon.
Spread the date mixture over the crumble base, leaving a 10 mm gap around the edge so that the filling doesn't seep out while it is baking.
Spread the remaining half of the crumble mixture over the top and sprinkle a few extra oats over the top.
Cook in the centre of the oven, gas mark 5, 190 oC, 375oF, until golden. For an Aga, bake on the grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven and raise to the third shelf for a few minutes towards the end of the baking time to brown.
- Ensure that the first layer of crumble is packed firmly into the base of the baking tin.
- If you would like to make a vegan version, a plant based margarine can be used instead of butter.
- The date and oat slices are delicious cold, but can also be reheated and served warm with cream, custard or ice cream.
- The date slices can be stored in an airtight container for several days.
You may also like to try crunchy oat biscuits which are my homemade version of Hobnobs. They are super oaty and easy to make.
Or why not try rhubarb and loganberry crumble tart which has a delicious topping made with oats and seeds.