Dates are a versatile fruit and have been used in baking for decades. Why not give these recipes from Aunt Kate’s 1933 Baking Book a go today?
Whether you love them, loathe them, or you’re not quite sure what you think of them, it’s undeniable that dates can pep up so many baking recipes, from breads to cakes, and turnovers to biscuits.
Aunt Kate, who wrote recipes for the People’s Journal and People’s Friend from the 1880s to the 1960s, also created several recipe books, including her 1993 Baking Book. In it are the two recipes below, which have dates as the star of the show.
Many of Aunt Kate’s recipes are written in the measurements and refer to techniques used at the time. Where possible we have tried to convert these to what would be used today, though some measurements and oven temperatures may vary.
- 1 cup dates, stoned and chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- Pinch of salt
- Egg white
- Puff pastry
- Dissolve the sugar in the fruit juice, add the grated rind and the chopped dates and beat until well mixed.
- Roll out the paste thinly and cut it into 4-inch squares.
- Put a spoonful of the date mixture on one half and turn the other half over, wetting and pressing the edges together firmly.
- Prick the top, brush over with egg white, sprinkle with sugar and bake (approximately 20 minutes at 220C/200C fan/gas 7).
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cups dates, stoned and chopped
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the egg, milk, melted butter and mix to a stiff batter.
- Stir in the dates, then half fill greased muffin tins with the mixture.
- Bake in a moderate oven (approx 190C) for 20 minutes.