The sugar varieties available today are tremendous. Just by using different types of sugar, you can completely change the look, flavour and texture of a product. Light musovado sugar just screams dates and almonds, team this tart with toffee sauce and whipped cream and you have yourself a killer combination.
I do like to be bossy and I insist you use FRESH dates for this recipe. You will find them in the fruit and vegetable section of your local supermarket. If I wanted you to use dried dates, from the baking aisle, I would have soaked the dates in water to soften them. Dried dates, will not work in this recipe, they will be too stringy.
So bake away and bake yourself happy!
- 215 g chopped, pitted, FRESH dates (about 12)
- 100 g chopped almonds
- 1½ sheets of sweet shortcrust pastry (about 390g)
- 100 g softened butter
- 140 g Billington's light muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 150 g ground almonds
- 50 g plain flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- additional 50 g chopped almonds
- additional 1 Tbsp Billington's light muscovado sugar
- Toffee Sauce
- 100 g Billington's muscovado sugar
- 60 g butter
- 100 ml cream
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Chop the dates and almonds, set aside.
- Line an 11 inch flan tin with the pastry and refrigerate until needed.
- In a small bowl, cream the butter, sugar and essence for 3 minutes until light and creamy.
- Transfer mixture to a larger bowl and fold in the flour, ground almond and cinnamon.
- Thoroughly fold in the dates and almonds to make sure the dates are evenly distributed.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared pastry case, levelling it out with a knife if necessary.
- Sprinkle more chopped almonds on top and finish with a light sprinkling of the muscovado sugar.
- Bake at 170 degrees celsius for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted for 10 seconds comes out clean.
- Toffee sauce
- Place all ingredients into a small pot, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cools, just reheat if necessary.
I have kept the almonds and dates roughly chopped but you could do them much finer.
I use store bought pastry, it's perfect for this recipe.
Substituting some of the Billington's light muscovado sugar for Billington's molasses sugar will give your pie a deeper colour and richer flavour.
You need to keep an eye on this tart, to make sure the crust doesn't start burning. If it is browning too quickly either turn the oven down to 150, or cover with a piece of tinfoil.