• Ditza's Famous Fruit Cake. Photography: Adi Shilon.
    Ditza's Famous Fruit Cake. Photography: Adi Shilon.
  • Ditza Heiman. Photo courtesy of the family.
    Ditza Heiman. Photo courtesy of the family.
  • Ditza's Famous Fruit Cake. Photography: Adi Shilon.
    Ditza's Famous Fruit Cake. Photography: Adi Shilon.
Recipe

Savta Ditza’s Famous Seasonal Fruit Cake

Their favorite dish: Ditza Heiman loves The Gevatron, playing with her grandchildren and reading. Adi Shilon prepares her Seasonal Fruit Cake

Savta Ditza is a pioneer, a mentor and a woman who simply loves people. So it should be no surprise that Ditza was still working as a social worker at the age of 80, she retired 4 years ago. She has 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Ditza is a seventh generation Israeli and one of the pioneers of kibbutz Nir-Oz where she lives with her cat Maya, who could be considered her fifth daughter, since her husband’s passing.

Ditza loves listening to The Gevatron (an Israeli folk group), playing Rummy with her grandchildren, solving crossword puzzles and diving deep into the world of imagination found between the pages of her beloved books. She spends long hours caring for her plants and working in the garden. Savta Ditza loves the kibbutz she helped establish. The kibbutz she calls home. The kibbutz where she raised her family. The kibbutz she was kidnapped from on October 7th by Hamas.

After 53 days in captivity, Ditza was released.

Ingredients for Seasonal Fruit Cake

  • 7 oz (200 grams) white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 7 oz (200 grams) Sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 5.3 oz (150 grams) butter melted
  • seasonal fruit what you have on hand (I used 7 plums)
  • 2½ teaspoons (10 grams) vanilla sugar (1 packet)

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 338F (170C) degrees. Line your springform pan with parchment paper. (Regarding the diameter, I used 10" and it comes out a bit low, but I think it's fun. Choose the size according to the height you prefer.)

  • 2. Mix all the ingredients in the order listed until you reach the fruit. Pour the batter evenly into the pan and arrange with a spatula if necessary.

  • 3. Cut the fruit, mix with vanilla sugar (or sprinkle the sugar on top once in the mold like I did) and arrange on top of the batter, pushing the fruit in slightly.

  • 4. Bake for 40-50 minutes until properly browned and firm. You might need additional time if you chose a smaller springform, resulting in a taller cake.

  • 5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, if desired, dust with powdered sugar and serve.

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This recipe is part of Adi Shilon’s “Their Favorite Dish” project, which tells the story of 60 abductees through the recreation of their favorite recipe for a pastry or dessert. For all the details and additional recipes in the project.

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