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what can i use to replace dates in date squares?

I need to use something local.....would apples work? They seem too juicy compared to dates. And dried apricots sound disgusting.

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  1. Without dates, they're not,er, date squares. Probably the best source for "squares" recipes that can be hacked with other fruits are the classic recipes from Edna Staebler. Her cookbooks are still around.

    1. Apples will work if you use a pie apple like Spy or Mutsu. Dried apples might work too. Bear in mind that they will be more apt to fall apart without the gooey texture of dates to hold them together so you might want to make sure you use a fairly firm mixture for your crust -i.e- one with lots of butter and some flour as well as the traditional oatmeal. Dried apricots, if you cook them with a little water and sugar or honey are sweet and delicious and will give you a consistancy similar to dates. You could also use jam; apricot or even strawberry. Add some lemon juice to the strawberry jam to kill some of the sweetness or it will be overpowering.

      1. you can also try plums or prunes (dried plums) - the texture of these is nearly identical to that of dates. Also agree with Higgette on apricots - don't write them off too quickly. The right amount of tang is key...good luck

        1. Raisin squares would probably be good. I don't know where you'd find local raisins though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tjr

            Consistency-wise, I think dried figs are your best bet!

              1. re: slacker

                the OP wants to use something local (Toronto?). For most of us, dried figs aren't any more local than dates.

                How about a dried berry paste, the kind of stuff that went into making pemmican?

              2. Figs. I have a recipe for date fig squares and they are fabulous.

                1. dried figs are great in bars. think fig newton... but homemade.

                  1. Dried apricots that you either poach or soak in a liquid first to plump. Mmm....love apricot squares.

                    1. Dried figs, or dried apples are good substitutes for texture, but wow, nothing can be substituted for the taste of a good date. NPI.

                      1. I just came across a recipe that showed a substitute for dates in date squares - it was rhubarb. It called for 3 cups of rhubarb, 1.5 cups sugar, 2 Tbsp cornstarch, and the zest of 1 orange. I made them and they are yummy!! And easily local!

                        1 Reply
                        1. Layer of local blueberry/blackberry preserves in middle. Great.