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.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
- 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
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BASE/CRUMBLE
- 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 !
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