1 cup dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons softened
butter, plus additional for molds
2 cups all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup cream
1and 1/3 cups dark-brown sugar
2 tablespoons Myers’s rum, or to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the dates,
and boil for 5 minutes. Strain, and place the dates in
a bowl of cold water. Working in the water, remove the
skins and pits from the dates. Place the dates in a
medium saucepan with 1 cup water, vanilla extract, and
baking soda. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 2
minutes (watch carefully, as it will foam). Set aside
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an
8-by-12-inch baking dish or 12 6-ounce ramekins very
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a
bowl. Cream the butter briefly in a mixing bowl. Add
the date mixture, dry ingredients, and egg, and stir
gently to combine. (Do not overmix.) Spoon the mixture
into the molds or baking dish until they are a bit
less than half full. Set on a cookie sheet, and bake
for 25 to 30 minutes.
While the pudding bakes, combine the
butter, cream, and brown sugar with 3 tablespoons
water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the
heat and simmer for a few minutes, add rum, and set
aside, keeping the sauce warm.
Remove the pudding from the oven when a skewer
inserted in the center comes out clean. If using a
large baking dish, cut the pudding into 12 squares.
Pour the sauce over the pudding, allowing it to seep
down around the sides and cover the top. (Use a fork
to pull the pudding away from the pan, to get the
sauce down the sides.) Bake for 2 to 3 more minutes.
Remove and cool to room temperature. Serve with
vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Sonoma County Chardonnay, such as Chalone.
Photograph by William Meppem