July 17, 2024
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Terumah and Tetzaveh: Red (Fruit) Leather and Olive Oil & Orange Cake

Parshat Terumah inspiration: “You shall make a Cover for the Tent of red-dyed ram skins, and a Cover of tachash skins above.”

Tachash has always been a bit of a mystery to me, but red-dyed ram skins are easy to imagine. I thought I could dispense with the dying, however, and just use red berries. You can use any type or mixture of fruit; the time in the oven varies based on water content. If you use frozen fruit, thaw it fully and try to drain out most of the water or it won’t set up properly. Fruit leather is highly sensitive to the particulars of your oven, so you have to keep a close eye on it or you’ll end up with crunchy shards accidently.

 

Red (fruit) leather

  • 3 cups of strawberries, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

1. Heat oven to 170° F or similar very low setting. Prepare a rimmed pan with parchment paper, making sure that it reaches or even extends over the edges.

2. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour onto parchment paper and smooth with an off-set spatula to a thin and uniform surface, avoiding holes.

3. Bake for 3-5 hours, until no longer wet in the middle. Let the pans cool. Cut the entire batch, paper and all, into strips and peel off the parchment paper.

Parshat Tetzaveh inspiration: “Now you shall command the Children of Israel that they shall take for you pure olive oil, pressed for illumination, to kindle the lamp continually.”

Olive oil makes an exceptionally elegant cake. It tastes a little different, but the texture is just perfect—soft, moist, and full-bodied—and it keeps you coming back for more. I added orange zest and fresh-squeezed orange juice to add some brightness to the delicious cake. Use a high-quality, fruity olive oil if you can, and Cara Cara oranges are in season right now—so sophisticated a flavor. I’m adding this one to my repertoire.

 

Olive Oil and Orange Cake

  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Zest of 2 oranges (about 1 tbsp)
  • Juice of 2 oranges (about 1½ oz)
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • ⅓ cup and ¾ cup sugar

1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Brush the inside of a springform pan with olive oil and line the bottom with parchment paper, brushing the paper with oil, too.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and orange zest. Set aside.

3. Beat egg whites on medium-low until foamy. Increase speed and slowly add 1/3 cup of sugar. Beat until white holds soft peaks. Switch bowls or transfer the egg whites to a different bowl and set aside.

4. Beat egg yolks and ¾ cup of sugar on medium-high until the mixture is thick, paler, and has tripled in volume (3-5 minutes depending on your mixer). Slowly beat in olive oil and then the orange juice. The mixture may appear curdled.

5. Stir the flour mixture into the egg yolk and oil mixture until fully combined, but don’t overmix.

6. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter until combined, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until the batter is uniform with no streaks.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 40-55 minutes, until the cake is uniformly golden-brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed.

8. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife between the sides of the cake and the pan to loosen, remove the sides of the pan, and allow to cool completely. You can add a glaze or sprinkle some powdered sugar on top if you want to, but I kept it unadulterated and the cake disappeared by the end of the weekend.


Follow me @EdibleParsha on Facebook to see each recipe on the Monday of each parsha week for plenty of time to prepare it for Shabbat!

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