One of the worst culprits - or should that be victim - is that packet of dates, that we all buy, leave out on the table to go with the nuts and satsumas at Christmas, of which just one or two dates get nibbled and the rest get tucked away until they go mouldy and get thrown out.
Well, not this year - as part of my new resolution to actually bake a cake occasionally, I was given this recipe by my neighbour, and it is perfect for those left over dates.
Preheat the oven to 200C or equivalent to your oven.
You will need to start with a shortcrust flan base, (the recipe I use was previously posted on
Saturday, January 30, 2010 Friday night is quiz night).
Butter a dish, and lay the pastry case in.
Take those dates, cut in half, de-stone and layer on the pastry - my top tip for dealing with dates, while your board is still floury from the pastry, flour your hands and then handle the dates, not so sticky that way!
For the flan filling, crack and whisk 4 eggs, add 110g of sugar, 90g of cornflour, and about 1litre of milk. I say about 1 litre, because this depends on the depth of your pastry case and dish. Make sure the mix is light and frothy and very liquid, if it is too thick, the flan will be stodgy rather than nice and light.
The recipe I was given included 2 tablespoons of orange water - this is something that I have in my pantry, but you can substitute with lemon juice if you do not have orange water available.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, and leave to cool before serving, store in the fridge once cool.