This easy to make recipe from For Friends & Family, by Nicky Stubbs, R385, (Human & Rousseau) is the perfect balance between healthy and indulgent


Pastry crumble

  • 2½ cups white cake flour
  • 2½ cups oats
  • 1 cup white or brown sugar
  • ½t salt
  • 300g butter
  • 1t bicarbonate of soda dissolved in a little cold water
  • 3T water


  • 750g dates, pitted and chopped
  • 100g currants
  • 1 cup white or brown sugar juice and grated rind of ½ lemon
  • 1 cup water


1. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor, mix together the flour, oats, sugar and salt.
2. Cut the butter into cubes and rub it in with your fingers, or pulse together in the food processor.
3. Add the bicarbonate of soda and water and mix to form a dough.
4. Split the dough into two large balls and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Place all the filling ingredients together in a lidded saucepan and heat through gently to soften and combine the ingredients. Simmer very gently for 5-10 minutes.
6. Leave to cool for 20 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease or spray a standard roasting pan (not a baking tray).
8. Place half the chilled pastry in the roasting pan and flatten with the back of a spoon to form the base.
9. Fill with the date mixture.
10. Crumble or grate the remaining pastry over the date mixture and press down gently.
11. Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry topping is firm and golden brown.
12. Cut into squares while still warm and allow to cool a bit in the roasting pan.
13. Cool completely on cooling racks.
14. Store in an airtight container. While these are best served fresh or within two weeks, they will last for up to a month.

(Makes 56 generous or 64 standard squares)