Fruitcake for Thanksgiving? Really? I dare?
In a few days we are about to start the favorite time of year for this culinary. It is the time when the season meetings begin.
That means more opportunities to try new foods or dust off old recipes. For some, the recipes are a long tradition. And for others, they mean trying new flavors to add to the traditional and not-so-traditional variety.
As we get older and are exposed to a greater variety of dishes, our taste buds change. Sometimes we find that we end up loving something we used to hate.
For me, I have a love/hate relationship with fruitcake.
When I was young I really hated it. Over time, that relationship has turned into love. I have my mom to thank for that.
Mom and Grandma have been making fruitcakes for as long as I can remember. I remember them saying “it’s a lot of work.” The “work” involved is cutting the fruit and chopping the nuts. Mom gathers her ingredients a little here and a little there. She puts a lot of love into her fruitcakes. She has tried different recipes over the years.
Last year I visited a local family run supermarket and saw this fruitcake for sale, and the fruit and nuts appeared to be whole.
What what? That in the world? Oh my gosh, what if I don’t have to cut any of the fruit?
With the first cut, I knew it was true. The fruit cake was cut very well. No need to chop anything beforehand. Talk about a time saver.
Do not miss:If you love the taste of coffee, you will love this coffee flavored dessert.
More Melinda:If you like variety and need a quick meal, try these Roasted Stuffed Peppers.
Let’s get right into it; if you do it now, you’ll be fine for Thanksgiving or any day after. The thing is, the longer it gets, the better it gets. That’s why I’m making mine now, although it will never last until Christmas if I do.
Oh, and just to clarify, this is not mom’s recipe. You didn’t think I was going to give you mom’s recipe, did you? That’s our family secret!
This recipe, however, is a good way to start developing your fruitcake taste buds. This holiday season, give fruitcake a second chance, but not necessarily a store-bought one.
There are dark fruit cakes that usually have molasses or brown sugar and some darker colored fruit. The blond fruit cake is usually made with cherries and yellow fruits. I like both.
I recommend this recipe for newbies. It has fewer ingredients to gather, it’s a cinch to make, and the icing on the cake, so to speak, is that you don’t cut anything.
If you like the depth of your fruitcake better, you’ll have to ask my mom. She is the queen of fruitcake.
Blonde Jeweled Fruitcake
1 1/2 cups candied red cherries
1 1/2 cups candied green cherries
6 oz. dried apricots
10 ounces golden raisins
1/2 pound halved walnuts
1/2 pound halved walnuts
1 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
5 large eggs
4 tablespoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Save two or three cherries and walnut halves to garnish the top of the cake.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine the fruit and nuts in a large bowl. In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to the creamy mixture and mix well. Pour over fruits and nuts; stir to coat. I make sure not to break the cherries. I stir gently and mix with a lifting motion.
Pour batter into a greased 10-inch tube pan. Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours, until toothpick comes out clean. Don’t overbake and dry it out. (Everyone’s oven is different, which explains that bake time window.) When done, remove from oven and cool on pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
Wrap it tightly in cheesecloth and aluminum foil, and store it in a cool place like a garage or another cool room in your home. Bring to room temperature before slicing. Flavors are brighter at room temperature. Use a serrated knife to cut the fruitcake. Enjoy
- If you’re storing your fruitcake for longer than a week, I recommend drizzling it with white rum (this is optional, but I think it’s a moist gem of a cake). Then wrap it in cheesecloth, then also wrap it in foil. Once a week I repeat the sprinkling of white rum and place it back in aluminum foil. For subsequent rum drizzles, there is no need to remove the cheesecloth, the rum will soak through.
- A spray bottle from a dollar store will work to spray the rum.