By Tzirel Chana at Kosher Home Cooking.
TuBishvat isn’t some kind of trivial pursuit question (remember that 80s game in which players showed off their command of arcane and irrelevant information)
TuBishvat is mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud’s list of New Years (Any cheder boy will tell you that there are four the best known being Rosh Hashana) and TuBishvat is the day when G-d allocates strength to the soil which is a huge deal because here in water deprived Israel .
Though TuBishvat hasn’t got special prayers or rituals–though it is a good time to daven for a good Etrog, Sephardic Jews, like to eat 15 15 different kinds of fruit. That is because TuBishvat is celebrated on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shvuat the word Tu being a Hebrew abbreviation for 15. Hebrew letters are also numbers. Tet is nine and vuv (the ooo sound) is six which adds up to 15, (you could also combine yud which is 10 and hey which is 5 but we skip that because it forms one of G-d’s ineffable names).
When you consider that nuts are fruits—they grow on trees, fifteen fruits aren’t that hard to come by. Most years I serve all fifteen but recently I found a recipe that a recipe that combines fruits up in one easy dish.. And since two of the fruits involved, date and almond from the Shivat Haminim, the seven species native ito the land of Israel , that makes it even better.
The third fruit is apple which is actually symbol of G-d Himself. You can find the tetragramaton, the four letter name of G-d with a numerical equivalent of 26 right in the fruit. (one for the stalk, 10 seeds inside, 10 points in the star light formation enclosing the seeds and 5 ridges= 26
Isn’t that cool? ..
Silan Baked apples
Silan is honey extracted from dates part of the seven species—as are almonds
Core an apple about two thirds of the way down—you don’t want to create a tunnel, just a hole for the filling to sit in
Pour inside the silan and add slivered almonds (figure on a tablespoon of silan and three or four almond slivers per apple) Silan is available in gourmet shops and specialized groceries.
Bake for an hour or until soft. I personally like them baked until they are smooth and fluffy but you can leave for less time for a firmer apple. Eat , Delicous healthy and fat free.