Date and walnuts make a great “sugar free” mithai. They also make great pies!
- 300 gms maida
- 150 gms butter(cold)
- 1.2 tsp baking powder
- 2tbsp powdered sugar
- ice cold water to bind
- 9″ diameter flan tin
- 400 gms date(deseeded and finely chopped)
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup cream*
*please read notes below, both Mandira and I skipped this and it worked just fine
- Cut cold butter into cubes.
- Sift maida and baking powder. Rub in the butter lightly using your fingers to get “crumbs”. Bind with cold water. DO NOT knead, but bind the crumbs with a little bit of cold water.You will not need more than 1-3 tbsp for this. Cover dough and refrigerate for 30 mins.
- For the filling heat butter in a thick bottom pan. Add the chopped and deseeded dates and water. Stir around till they become pulpy and soft.
- Add the walnuts, essence, lemon juice and cream.
- Remove pastry dough from fridge and roll out to fit the flan tin. Keep about 1/3rd aside to cover the top of the pie. Bake blind at 200 C for 15 mins till golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool. Spoon in the filling.
- Roll out the remaining dough and cut into thin strips. Lay the strips in a criss cross fashion over the filing. Bake again for 10-15 min at 200 C.
Source: Nita Mehta’s book Bakes and Cakes
Lakshmi’s notes: I replaced the maida with wheat flour (whole wheat atta) and it worked brilliantly. I also quartered the recipe and made two mini pies in tart moulds. I loved the short crust this recipe produces – its very very cookie like and melt in mouth. I skipped on the cream for the filling. I don’t think the cream is required at all – the pulpy dates and walnuts are quite rich and tasty by themselves. I added cinnamon powder instead of the essence.
Mandira’s notes: I wanted to make the filling lighter so I skipped the cream altogether. I dont think it made any great difference to the taste. I also forgot to add the essence(!!) but the original taste of the dates and walnuts worked just fine for the family. I think the essence is superfluous! I have tried various butter and maida proportions for short crust pastry. I have found this to be the best.