Kosher fruit & nut cake for Tu B'Shevat (or anytime)
Tu B'Shevat - the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar marks the beginning of a "New Year for Trees." This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.
We mark the festival of Tu B'Shevat with a special Seder. We eat fruits particularly those mentioned in the Torah; grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. Preserved citron (left over from Sukkot), kumquats, dried papaya and kiwi are just some of the more exotic dried fruits that Israelis enjoy eating at this time. Pecans, cashews and pistachios are just some of the nuts that will grace the table.
- 4 eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pound red candied cherries
- 1 pound green candied cherries
- 1 pound Brazil nuts
- 1 pound walnut halves
- 1 pound pecan halve
- 2 pounds pitted dates
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease 3 - 8x4 inch loaf pans and line them with baking paper.
- Beat eggs, salt and vanilla together until very light and lemon colored. Stir in sugar, 1 cup flour and baking powder.
- Place cherries, nuts, and dates into a large bowl. Dust with the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Then stir in sugar mixture. There is very little batter which makes this a very stiff mixture. Mix with hands if necessary.
- Press batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour.
Sprinkle powdered sugar on the loaf for an attractive decoration
Brazil nuts contain more selenium than any other food. While this sounds like a benefit, the amount of selenium in a handful of Brazil nuts is so high that eating them too frequently puts you at risk for selenium toxicity. As long as you occasionally eat only a few, Brazil nuts are good sources of magnesium, vitamin E and healthy unsaturated fats.