Date and Fig Slice

We love fruit crumbles in our family – we love dates and figs too.  In Malta we have a traditional date snack (nothing like as healthy as this recipe of mine), made with dates and a kind of pastry/batter which is deep fried.  I have a feeling that aniseed is part of the mixture, but I have decided to make a combination of dates and figs in this wonderful oat and vanilla crumble, with loads of other delicious ingredients, and see what happens.  The result was a winner – irresistible and most delightful with a cup of your favourite tea.  Serve warm or cold, both are great !  Soya cream is optional as a topping. If you love dried fruit, you’re going to like this, hopefully love it, as we do here at home.


  • 350g or 1½ cups of dried figs (the Turkish ones are very tasty). Snip off stems of figs.
  • 1¼ cups dried pitted dates
  • 2 tbsps ground almond (optional)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp organic malt syrup
  • ½ tsp dried aniseed
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 4 tbsps warm water


  • 1 cup regular oats, ground
  • 1 cup regular oats, uncooked
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1½ tbsps raw cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla essence
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp ground cardamon powder
  • 1 tbsp soya/vegetable margarine
  • 2 tbsps organic blueberry juice
  • 1/8 – ¼ cup water (as the water is added at the end, please check your food processor to be sure that the consistency of the crumble is something between a crumble and a dough.  This method allows for the flexibility of pressing down the base in the dish, and also of crumbling on top with your fingers).

Serves about 8 portions.


Place fruit in a food processor, add the warm water, and process until mixture becomes a pulp.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again for a minute or so, until all ingredients form a nice thick paste consistency.  At this point, scoop into a bowl and set aside (as you will be using the processor again for the filling, you may wish to wash it at this point).  Set oven to 200C.  In the meantime, grease a 9”/30cm cake tin, and set aside.  Your next step is to make the crumble.

First place the oats in the food processor, and process for a minute or so, until the oats break down close to powder form.  At this point add the white unbleached flour, baking powder and salt and process for a few seconds.  Now add the sugar, margarine and cardamon powder, and process for a few more seconds.  Finally, add the vanilla essence, and the water very little at a time, whilst still processing, whilst keeping a watchful eye that the mix doesn’t solidify, but remains a thickish crumble.   Should your consistency become dough-like, keep on adding a little white flour until it breaks down again.

Next, you need to take roughly 60% of the crumble, a handful at a time, and press it down on the bottom of the cake-tin (you are looking at approximately ½ inch of base).   Ensure you do this as evenly as possible.  Now it is time to add the filling, and even it out with a spreading knife.  Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top.  Place in hot oven for between 25-35 minutes (depending on your oven type), just until the surface takes on a slightly brown colour.  Allow to cool before cutting into portions.  If you wish, you can heat each portion for 30 seconds in the microwave, and serve warm with soya cream.  Enjoy !

All recipes, content & design © Miriam Sorrell 2010

These are free recipes for your pleasure – all we ask in return is that you take a few moments to leave a constructive comment !



  1. Can you use fresh figs and dates? If so, would the measurements be any different? I have a fig tree in my yard, and I buy fresh dates all summer long. I can’t wait to try this! Sounds yummy!

  2. Hi Justine and welcome on my site. The answer is yes and no – yes:- you can try it (but I have another idea in mind for you). No:- it won’t work in the way that mine has because it’s in the mixture of the dried fruit’s taste (which is different to the fresh), and also in the texture – the dried mixture is a jam-like one, with the fresh fruit it would be different. So if you really must use fresh (for one’s health fresh is best we all know that), then I suggest you follow my recipe for the crumble/pastry – chop up your fresh fruit and follow the instructions for the crumble – place fruit in an oven proof dish, drizzle a very little bit of maple sryrup, then distribute the crumble on top and bake until golden – serve with vegan cream and or vanilla ice cream – let me know if this works for you if so. I have never tried it with fresh fruit myself. Cheers and hope this helps.

  3. This looks amazing. I would try it right now but I ate all my dried figs last night 😛 I can’t wait to look through the rest of the site. Thanks so much for this.

  4. Coulinjo Hi and welcome to my site – I love figs too ! The fresh ones just are irresistible ! This one made with dried ones is just mouthwatering and has been enjoyed by many a guest here ! With added dates, it’s a true treat. Enjoy my site and come back with your comment ! Cheers to you !

  5. Love your recipes sooooo much Miriam! I am reposting this for my fb friends….thank you!

  6. Hi Diane, thanks for loving my recipes – repost as much as your wonderful heart desires ! Cheers to you !

  7. Hi Miriam, what’s the difference btwn the ground and uncooked oats? I have rolled oats and quick oats bought from the supermarket (are they uncooked?) and I guess I can grind them up to provide me with 1 cup of ground oats but what about the uncooked ones? do I buy them separately?
    and do you think the recipe will still work if I substitute the malt syrup with agave nectar or maple syrup?

    thanks again!

  8. Hi there Rid, the best oats for this recipe are the rolled oats, use them for the entire recipe. And agave nectar is excellent for this recipe, you may need to use a little less since agave is very sweet – but go ahead and make it and report back with the results. Here is a link about rolled oats which gives some useful info (I usually use the rolled version) Cheers to you !

  9. Thanks for the info Miriam,
    Alright I’ll give it a go and report back! haha

  10. Look forward to your feedback Rid – cheers for now !

  11. OMG! So delish!

  12. Thanks Alma and cheers !

  13. Can you use sweet brown rice syrup instead of sugar?

  14. Add some walnuts to the crust and this dessert will be among my top favourites:) Great recipe Miriam! I’ll share it on FB.

  15. Miriam, What a talented, imaginative and inspiring vegan cook you are.
    Your recipes make the eyes widen, the jaw drop and tasteboods tingle!

    I’m lucky to have found you.

  16. Hi Susan, yes I guess you can – these days I am using agave nectar – it’s altogether a healthier choice. Look forward to your future comments. Cheers to you !

  17. Adya Hi there – you love nuts as much as myself it seems – throw on the walnuts and yeah, you have pretty much a very awesome dessert there. Thanks for your constructive comment – and hope you make my nutty ice-cream at some point too ! Best.

  18. Hi there Phil – all I can say back are 2 things. 1. Thanks & 2. You have made my day ! Cheers to you and very much look forward to your future comments !

  19. Hi Miriam,
    awesome recipe with my favorite ingredients. I have another question regarding the oats:
    Do all the oats go in the base/crumble to be ground in the food processor at the same time? Or do you set aside the non-ground oats to be added later to the remaining crumble for the topping?
    Thanks for posting!

  20. Hi there Sylvie and welcome here. Thanks for dropping by with your comment. The oats may be processed with the rest of the crumble mix, but add them at the end so that they don’t over crumble – and just pulse for a few seconds. Let me know how it goes. Best to you in the meantime.

  21. Surprise Surprise! In Malta ….you said. I live in Malta too and presume that your talking about Imqaret (the date snack). Is it? I love those. Tourists buy them by the dozen.
    So welcome aboard Miriam.

  22. Joe Hi there and thanks for your comment. No, this recipe is not Imqaret, although I have made Imqaret as one of the recipes in my upcoming book, I have veganizwd it and therefore it is a healthier version than what is commonly sold here. Please remember that almost all the ingredients that I use here in my recipes CAN be bought from Malta. Best to you in the meantime !

  23. Howdy Miriam
    Pls let me know when yer book is out. I’d like to have it in me library.

  24. Hi there Joe and thanks for dropping by. My book will be out next April, that is 10 months from now. I will e-mail you closer to the time to let you know. Best to you and hope you enjoy the recipes here in the meantime.

  25. Thanks a million Miriam. Am sure looking forward to have THAT book. Its marvellous the best Im having.
    May I ask a favour even though it is still early: When I get my copy will you sign it for me pl? It is my policy to have books from author friends to be signed. Tks.

  26. Hi there Joe and thanks for dropping by here with your comment and your interest in my forthcoming book. I will be glad to sign it for you (it is still 9-10 months away, so I will notify you closer to the time when it’s due out). Very best wishes to you and hope you enjoy my recipes – I will be posting more up so keep connected to the blog.

  27. Don’t you worry – promise. A big HUG to you.

  28. Michael (from Facebook)

    Shared on Facebook! 🙂

    This looks like a really distinctive confection that can be served at classy events, and especially during holiday gatherings. Thank you Miriam for introducing us to this healthy Vegan version of the popular Maltese pastry! 🙂

  29. Hi there Michael and thanks for your comment. It is quite rich in it’s taste and although not entirely Maltese, it is inspired by a sweet enjoyed here, but this is all vegan as you know. Best wishes your way and always a pleasure to hear your descriptive and wonderful comments. Thanks.

  30. Hi, this recipe looks great! I was just a bit confused about the oats. The recipe asks for 1 cup of oats, ground, and another cup of oats, unground. In the method, the ground oats aren’t mentioned. Unless you chuck them in with the unground oats when you grind them with the crumble… Is that what you do? Sorry, I’m just in a big muddle! Thanks 🙂

  31. Hi there Brooke, sorry for the delay in replying. Both oats would be put together yes, just as you had suspected. Always remember when making crusts, crumbles or such like to slightly adjust the liquid content if you feel the mixture a little too much on the dry side, by this I mean a very minor adjustment if needed at all. Hope you made and enjoyed them ! 🙂


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