Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy Tu B'Shvat

Tu B'Shvat is a minor Jewish holiday that is considered the birthday of the trees. By Jewish law this is important in terms of knowing when it is permissible to eat the fruit of the trees. Typically it's celebrated by eating dried fruits and nuts and is the start of spring, which was sort of funny when it was 20 degrees out yesterday. In particular I always think of almonds because of one of the more well known songs for the holiday about the flowering of the almond tree. I have always associated the holiday with eating the Shivat Haminim or Seven Species of Israel. These include wheat, barley, pomegranate, grape, dates, figs and olives. Next year I fully intend to try to make a pie or pies that incorporate all of these, but for this year I stuck with two pies: Pomegranate Berry with an almond crumble top, and Apple Grape.

Pomegranate Berry Pie Filling
3 Tbs Pomegranate Juice
6 cup mixture of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries
4 Tbs Tapioca
1 cup of sugar

Almond Crumble Topping
1 cup of flour
4 Tbs butter
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
3 Tbs of brown sugar

Normally I would melt the butter to combine but this time I just worked it in with my hands like I would the pie dough itself.

Apple Grape Pie Filling
4 Golden Delicious Apples
2 cups of sliced green seedless apples
1 cup of sugar
3 tbs of corn starch
1 tbs of tapioca (because it was all I had left!)

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