At a recent benefit (Bubble Foundation, NYC) that I assisted in the preparation of foods, a gluten free cookie was served. I started thinking about adapting some of my baked goods to be gluten free also. This one fell right into place as it was practically gluten free to begin with.
My great grandmother appears to have had a love affair with dates and nuts. Some of her other recipes were date nut bread, date nut bars, and a cake. Judging from a bit of research, cooking with dates and nuts was not uncommon during the Depression era. This date and nut baked pudding is a great example of a pudding that did not have to be watched on the stove, freeing the cook to do other things while it baked. Dates added sweetness when sugar was at a premium price and nuts were often free for the picking (from the ground when they fell) in many parts of the country. There is only a smidgen of flour and butter here. Eggs and milk were most likely provided by a local farmer (in Ohio where my great grandmother lived). She was the wife of a dentist and I know from my grandmother that they were often paid in goods and services in lieu of cash during those lean times. I took the liberty of gussying up my great grandmother's recipe by adding some chocolate and espresso to this already tasty recipe. It is also a one bowl affair which is always a plus. —testkitchenette
chopped dates (pour scant 1/4 c. boiling water over them, let sit for 5 minutes, and then puree till smooth)
finely chopped nuts (I used pistachios)
flour (I used white whole wheat)for the gluten free version use the same amount of oat flour or almond meal