Put the chopped dates, water, lemon juice and cinnamon in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture looks as though it will spread fairly easily.
Then take the saucepan off the heat and leave it to cool. While it’s cooling, mix the flour, semolina and sesame seeds together in a bowl. Now place the butter and sugar together in another small saucepan and heat gently until the butter has completely melted; then stir this mixture into the flour and semolina. Mix well, and press half the mixture into the tin, using your hands to spread it as evenly as possible all over.
Next spread the date mixture carefully over this – again as evenly as possible – and after that top with the remaining flour and semolina mixture. This will by now have cooled a little and will probably be a bit crumbly, so just sprinkle it over the date mixture, pressing it down lightly all over. Now bake near the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, until the surface is tinged nicely golden brown.
Then cool, cut into bars and serve, or store in a tin till needed.
You can also watch more biscuits being made in our Cookery School Video on the right
Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5
Using a fan-assisted oven? Click here