A crisp pastry base, a sweet date filling with crunchy pecans and a light crumbly topping.
First make the pastry base by rubbing the butter into the flour and adding enough cold water to make a soft dough. Press into the base of a (lined) square tin and prick the base several times. Bake as it is (bake blind) for 15 minutes at Gas Mark 4 (350f / 180c). It should be just starting to turn golden.
Mix the date paste (or dates) with the butter, water, cinnamon and salt to make a softer spreadable paste. If it helps, you can gently heat this to make combining the ingredients easier. Spread the paste over the pastry base, levelling it out as much as possible.
If using, sprinkle the nuts over the dates paste and gently press in. If your nuts are very soft, you can dry fry them for a few minutes in a pan to crisp them up.
Mix the flour, oats, sugar and cinnamon together, then rub in the butter using your fingertips until you have a soft crumble. Tip the crumble over the date paste and spread out evenly. Ensure all the date mixture is covered. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes at Gas Mark 4 (350f / 180c).
Allow to cool in the tin before carefully removing (use the lining paper to gently remove it from the tin). Cut into squares or slices and enjoy!