Home Food Cooking and baking with fruit for Tu b’Shvat

Cooking and baking with fruit for Tu b’Shvat


Today is Tu b’Shvat and the fruits that are now in season in Israel are apples, persimmons, some strawberries (although beautiful, they are expensive) and several varieties of oranges.

One usually thinks of dates, figs and carob for Tu b’Shvat, the fruits of Eretz Yisrael, but for variety, here are some recipes using oranges and nectarines.

Orange juice salad dressing 

o 3/4 cup oil

o 6 tbsp. orange juice

o 1/2 tsp. sugar

o pinch dry mustard

Combine oil, orange juice, sugar and mustard in a jar. Shake well. Good on salad with lettuce, avocado and grapefruit.

Syrian orange chicken 

o 1 tbsp. margarine

o 1 tbsp. oil

o 1 cut-up chicken

o 1/2 cup orange juice

o 1 cup chicken soup

o 1 1/2 tsp. corn starch

o 1/2 chopped onion

o juice of 1/2 lemon

o 6-9 halved, pitted dates

o orange slices

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a baking dish. Heat margarine and oil in a frying pan and brown chicken. Place in the baking dish.

Add orange juice, chicken soup, corn starch, onion and lemon juice to frying pan and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens. Pour over chicken.

Cover and bake in preheated oven 45 minutes. Garnish with dates and orange slices, cover, and bake at least 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Good served with rice. Makes 4 servings.

Nectarine spice cake 

o 6 seeded, peeled, cut-up nectarines

o 1/3 cup canola oil

o 3 eggs

o 1 cup brown sugar

o 1/2 tsp. ginger

o 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

o 1 tsp. vanilla

o 1 3/4 cups flour

o 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

o 1/2 cup non-dairy creamer

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cake pan or two loaf pans, or place mini-papers in a mini-muffin pan and spray with vegetable spray.

Place nectarine pieces, oil, eggs and brown sugar in a mixer or food processor and blend a few seconds.

Add ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, flour, baking powder and non-dairy creamer and blend.

Spoon into baking pans. Bake in preheated oven 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

For a larger quantity, you can double the recipe.

Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/editor of nine kosher cookbooks, and a food writer who lives in Jerusalem, where she leads weekly walking tours of the Jewish food market, Machane Yehuda, in English.