Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Getting ready for Tu bi'Shvat

I hope you had recovered from Hanukkah celebrations and from the holiday season. New year is here, with new adventures, new holidays to celebrate and new crafty projects.

In two weeks from today, January 20th, we will celebrate Tu bi'Shvat. While our friends in Israel will be admiring almond blossoms and planting new trees, we will be looking outside the windows at the snowy desert, sipping hot cocoa and thinking about warmer places that are far far away.

We can not plant trees in January but we can eat their fruits. We mark this day by eating fruits from the Land of Israel, mainly dried ones like figs and dates, raisins and almonds. I will share with you a recipe for my favorite Tu bi'Shvat cake. It is dense, sweet and so very yummy!

Tu bi'Shvat Cake

Ingredients: (for 2 small loaf pans)
6 oz chopped walnuts
6 oz chopped almonds
4 oz white raisins
6 oz dried apricots
4 oz prunes
12 Tablespoons sugar
14 Tablespoon self rising flour
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons brandy

1. Preheat oven to 300F
2. Roast nuts in shallow frying pan for few minutes
3. Chop dried fruits coarsely
4. Mix all ingredients together
5. Transfer to a greased loaf pans and bake for 1.5 hours until the cake is deep golden-brown.
6. Cool for 12 hours before serving

You can store the cake in refrigerate wrapped in the aluminum foil for several weeks.

Chopped nuts in the frying pan

All ingredients in the mixing bowl.

Ready to go in the oven.


The cake makes a great hostess gift since you can make it in advance. I made a simple sleeve using beautiful papers from the Rosh HaShanah kit to dress up the cake. I cut a 4"x12" paper strip, scored it at 4", 1.25", 4" and 1.25" and glued together to form a sleeve. (Yes, I measured my cake). Cute label and few punched flowers - viola!
I couldn't leave you without my favorite dried fruit recipe. It brings up great childhood memories. It is not the same recipe that my grandma used but it is very good. It is from a fantastic cookbook "The Book of New Israeli Food" by Janna Gur.

Dried Fruit Compote
2 cups dried apricots
2 cup prunes, with pits (to maintain the shape)
1 cup dried apple rings
1.5 cup raisins
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon cut in half

1. Put the ingredients in a large saucepan. Add water to twice the level of the fruit. (It turned out really sweet so I added even more water after it was cooked)
2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for about 30 minutes.
3. Refrigerate and serve well chilled.

Happy New 2011!


  1. Yummy recipes and packaging! That looks like my grandmother's compote, too. Chodesh Tov to all!