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what can i use to replace dates in date squares?

nineinchnails Oct 2, 2008 10:58 AM

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. Kagemusha RE: nineinchnails Oct 2, 2008 11:18 AM

    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. h
      Higgette RE: nineinchnails Oct 2, 2008 11:24 AM

      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. b
        beabea RE: nineinchnails Oct 2, 2008 11:49 AM

        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. t
          tjr RE: nineinchnails Oct 2, 2008 12:30 PM

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: tjr
            dlw88 RE: tjr Oct 2, 2008 12:54 PM

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

          2. todao RE: nineinchnails Oct 2, 2008 03:49 PM

            Currants ...

            1. s
              slacker RE: nineinchnails Oct 2, 2008 03:54 PM

              How about figs? dried figs.

              1 Reply
              1. re: slacker
                paulj RE: slacker Oct 5, 2008 09:16 AM

                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. sarah galvin RE: nineinchnails Oct 2, 2008 05:00 PM

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

                1. c
                  cheesecake17 RE: nineinchnails Oct 2, 2008 05:12 PM

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

                  1. g
                    GRobin RE: nineinchnails Oct 3, 2008 08:08 AM

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

                    1. Cheese Boy RE: nineinchnails Oct 3, 2008 11:16 PM

                      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. b
                        bigos70 RE: nineinchnails Oct 5, 2008 05:24 AM

                        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. re: bigos70
                          paulj RE: bigos70 Oct 5, 2008 09:14 AM

                          but very seasonal!

                        2. maria lorraine RE: nineinchnails Oct 7, 2008 12:49 AM

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

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