The Al Tabsil date harvest season starts from the end of June every year when dates are abundantly harvested and are free from pests. Omani farmers have been skilled in this process of preserving the fruit of the yellow palm annually since ancient times.
Here’s an all-time favourite date recipe:
1/4 cup butter, room temperature, plus more to prep pan
1½ cups flour, plus more to prep pan
1½ cups (around 200g) chopped pitted dates
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1 cup caramel or toffee sauce – to garnish
Preheat oven to 180º C. Butter and flour a 6 cup pan and set aside. Add dates and 1¼ cups water to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Then remove from heat and mix in baking soda. Allow to cool, then use a blender to puree. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add 1 egg and mix until combined. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the date mixture and combine well. Add the remaining 1 egg, flour mixture, and dates. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, then invert. Drizzle caramel sauce over top of cake, let it flow to the sides. Serve with extra caramel sauce and whipped cream, if desired.