One of the best things about Christmas are lazy days with no schedules. To make the most of them, something sweet and decadent is required. Step forward these Date & Apple Crumble Squares; made for eating while enjoying a warm cup of coffee and doing absolutely nothing else.
Since starting the blog I've felt that the last few Christmases have passed without me getting a chance to properly post a complete set of festive recipes. I really wanted to change that this year and I'm working so hard on recipe development, photographing my dishes and writing up my posts. By the way, photographing food is a real pain in the backside at this time of year. I only shoot in daylight and we all know that's in short supply most afternoons. Weirdly I was a little nervous to commit to posting a complete set of Christmas recipes, but I'm really enjoying it. I'm so happy with the new recipes and none more so than with today's recipe.
So let me get my disclaimer in early; these are quite decadent and you won't find any claims here that they are guilt-free or sinless. The recipe calls for a generous amount of butter and the sweetness comes from dates, coconut sugar and honey. I'd put honey in most things if I could get away with it. Date and apple is a great pairing. Add almonds, oats and Irish butter and you know these squares are going to taste all kinds of delicious. I use oats and almonds and use a food processor to blitz them into flour. If you don't have a food processor, buy oat and almond flour. Both are widely available. Use your fingers to rub in the butter to form the sticky crumble mixture.
I'm not one for hyperbole when it comes to food, but if I were I would say these are insanely good. Keep scrolling to see how these delicious crumble squares come together.
PS: When these are baking, your home will spell divine.
For the crumble:
2 and a half cups of oats
1 and a half cups of almonds
1 tsp of baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup coconut sugar
150g butter, cup into cubes (bring to room temperature before use).
For the date and apple filling:
1 cup dates, pitted and diced
1 large apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp whiskey (optional)
1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 190C / Gas Mark 5. Line a medium sized baking dish with parchment paper.
Place all the ingredients listed for the date and apple filling in a saucepan and heat over a medium heat allowing it to simmer until the mixture thickens. This takes about 15 minutes. Once thickened, set to one side to cool slightly while you prepare the crumble.
To make the crumble combine the oats and almonds in a food processor and blitz into flour. Add the baking soda, sea salt and coconut sugar and blitz to mix. Add the butter gradually while the food processor is running and keep it running until the mixture forms into a sticky crumble.
Spoon half the crumble mixture into the lined baking dish and press down firmly to cover the base of the baking dish.
Spoon the slightly cooled filling mixture on top of the crumble base and spread it out so the crumble is evenly covered.
To place the remaining crumble mixture on top, it's easiest to use your hands. Using clean hands, press the crumble mixture together into flat clumps in your hands and place it on top of the filling. Using clean hands, gently pat the remaining crumble mixture to top of the filling so it's covered. The filling should be sandwiched between two layers of crumble.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top of the crumble mixture is golden brown.
Remove from your oven and allow to cool completely before removing the crumble from your baking tray. Place on a board and cut into 15 squares. If you manage not to eat the entire lot in one go, store the squares in an airtight container in the fridge.