1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (12 ounce) package pitted dates, coarsely snipped with scissors
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 cup orange juice, warmed
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups boiling water
Set the oven at 350 degrees F. Have on hand a deep 9-inch baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt.
In another bowl, combine the dates, butter, and orange juice. Mix in the Grand Marnier, vanilla, and walnuts. Add the date mixture to the flour and stir just until smooth. Spread the batter in the bottom of the dish, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
In another bowl, combine the brown sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture over the date batter.
Transfer the dish to the hot oven and bake the pudding for 45 minutes or until the top is set. Spoon the pudding into each of 4 shallow bowls and serve warm with ice cream.