Walnut and Date Piecrust

Walnuts, tahini, and cocoa powder balance out sticky, sweet dates to create an earthy and nutty pie crust.

Walnut and Date Piecrust
Photo: Photo: James Ransom / Food Stylist Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 20 mins
1 (9-inch) piecrust

A short bake gives this soft piecrust more structure for clean slicing. We opted for readily available Medjool dates, but if you have them, try Mazafati dates for a chocolaty flavor or Halawy dates for notes of caramel. The dates are the sweetening agent in this crust — there is no added sugar. Different types of dates vary in size, so be sure to use weight when substituting different varieties.


  • 2 ½ cups walnuts (about 9 ounces)

  • 8 pitted Medjool dates (about 3 1/2 ounces), roughly chopped

  • ¼ cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for crimping crust, if desired

  • 1 tablespoon tahini

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until toasted and fragrant, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Do not turn oven off.

  2. Combine toasted walnuts, dates, oats, cocoa, tahini, and salt in a food processor; process until mixture is finely ground and begins to clump, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Press mixture evenly into bottom and up sides of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9-inch pie plate. If desired, crimp edges, dusting fingertips with cocoa if needed to prevent sticking.

  3. Bake crust at 350°F until edges are dry and matte, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Make Ahead

Crust can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored, covered, at room temperature.

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