This post is taken from Tori Avey, aka The Shiksa in the Kitchen. She has a great site that I encourage you to visit at www.toriavey.com.
Typical foods served on Tu B’Shevat include fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. The almond trees bloom at this time of year, so almond-laden foods often make an appearance on the holiday table. Those who partake in a Tu B’Shevat Seder will eat at least 15 different types of fruits and vegetables. Chocolatey carob pods are sometimes included in the meal. It is also customary to include the Seven Species mentioned in the Torah: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates.
¾ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried figs*
½ cup dates*
1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
⅓ cup light olive oil
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (¾ cup all-purpose + ¾ cup whole wheat flour will work too)
½ cup barley flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup chopped walnuts
Nonstick cooking spray or paper muffin tin liners
Topping Ingredients (optional)
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
* To learn how to properly inspect these fruits, click here.
You will also need:
Blender or food processor, large mixing bowl, medium mixing bowl, standard muffin tin, ice cream scoop or small ladle, cooling rack
- If your raisins are particularly dry, cover them with water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and let the raisins sit in the water to plump for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- If your figs have tough stems on them, remove them and discard.
- Roughly chop dates and figs. Set aside.
- Use a blender or food processor to blend together the following ingredients until very smooth: dates, figs, almond milk, applesauce, cinnamon and allspice.
- It may take a couple of minutes to blend all ingredients to a smooth consistency, depending on the power of your blender. The end result should be similar to the texture of apple butter or smooth fruit preserves. Set mixture aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, light olive oil, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, barley flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gently mix the pomegranate seeds into the dry mixture, making sure the seeds are well coated with flour.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the fruit mixture from the blender into the well.
Add the egg mixture to the well.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the dry ingredients are just moistened and a lumpy batter forms. Do not over mix – if you do your muffins will turn out heavy and dense.
- Fold raisins and chopped walnuts into the muffin batter with a light-handed stir.
- Prep your muffin pan by spraying a small amount of non-stick cooking spray into the bottom of each muffin tin (not the sides), or use paper muffin cup liners. Divide batter equally into muffin cups, filling each cup to the top and mounding the surface slightly. I’ve found that it’s easiest to do this using an ice cream scoop.
- If you’d like to top the muffins, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl using a fork. Sprinkle about a ½ tsp of cinnamon sugar mixture evenly across the surface of each muffin.
- Place muffins in the oven and immediately turn heat down to 375 degrees F. That extra heat blast at the beginning of the baking cycle will help to activate the baking powder and baking soda. Bake for 25-27 minutes until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling on a rack. Do not let the muffins cool completely in the tin, they are quite moist and may stick to the tin if you leave them there too long. Serve warm.