One of the things that I remember from one trip my family and I did when I was a child to Baja California Sur is the tall Palm trees in the Oasis in Mulege, where lots of dates hang down from each palm tree. But funnily enough Mexicali, a city in Baja California is the main producer of dates in Mexico.
Dates were introduced into Mexico and California by the Spaniards in 1765. The Spanish explorers and missionaries introduced orchard fruit and grape vines to Mexico, the latter thriving well in the missions of Baja California and what is now the US state of California. Dried fruit was produced in abundance and eventually this region overtook the Valencia region of eastern Spain in raisin production. Today Mexico produces all manner of dried fruit, both orchard fruit introduced by the Spaniards — such as apples, pears and apricots — and tropical fruit, including pineapple and mango.
So here is a lovely and delicious recipe to honour the humble Mexican date. I hope you like it as el inglés did!
- 250 ml milk
- 100 g of white refine sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 60 g chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 250 g white flour
- 170 g chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 F/ Gas Mark 4. Lined and greased a loaf shape baking tin. Heat the milk and add the sugar and the butter, once they are dissolved, turn off the heat and add the dates and let the mixture cool down.
In a bowl put the flour, baking powder and salt. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and pour the cool milk mixture, egg and the chopped walnuts. Stir until everything is well combine.
Put the mixture into to the loaf tin and transferred to the oven to bake for around 35 to 45 min or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the cake is golden-brown.
Let it cool before slice it and Listo!