These nostalgic Canadian treats are comforting and wholesome. We added lemon and apple cider vinegar to the Medjool date filling to add brightness to the rich date flavour.
1 3/4 cup (250 g) pitted Medjool dates
1 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 lemon, zested
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 cup (175 g) rolled oats
1 cup (150 g) Whole Grain Red Fife Flour
3/4 cup (160 g) brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (170 g) butter, cubed and softened
Heat oven to 350°F and line a 8x8 inch square pan with parchment paper with a slight overhang on all sides.
Zest half a lemon and set aside. In a pot, bring Medjool dates, water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and pinch of salt to a boil. Add baking soda and simmer on low heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly until dates are very soft and broken down. Add lemon zest. Purée date mixture in the pot using an immersion blender (be careful of splashing), or remove from pot and purée in a blender or food processor until relatively smooth. Cool slightly while you make the crumb mixture.
In a bowl, combine oats, Whole Grain Red Fife Flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and using your fingers, massage into the dry ingredients until the mixture forms streusel-like crumbs.
Press 2/3 of crumb mixture into an even layer at the bottom of the prepared pan. We like to use a plastic dough scraper to firmly press the filling down evenly. Spread date mixture in an even layer over crust, then sprinkle remaining crumb evenly on top. Bake until streusel is lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.