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Much Maligned Fruitcake


I made fruitcake this morning.  Okay, knock off those groans!  I understand the issues people have with fruitcake.  The modern version full of candied cherries and pineapple is tolerable, at best.  First of all who ever came up with idea to dye fruits such garish, unnatural colors?  I guess, it might be the same people who are now marketing green ketchup and blue french fries.  However, you are not forced to use those ingredients in your fruitcake. 

I use dried fruits and over the years the selection has really grown.  It used to be that raisins, dates and prunes were your main options.  Not so today!  I take my basic recipe and substitute all kinds of fruits, just making sure that I use an equivalent amount to what is called for in the recipe.  The recipe I use lists both weight and volume measures so you could substitute using either method, although I normally just use volume. 

In the batch I made today I used dates, raisins (this mix from Rosendahl Farms is my favorite!), tart cherries, cranberries, apricots, mango, strawberries, and pineapple.  All dried, all natural colors! The cakes are now in the oven and will be ready to come out in a couple of hours. 

So, I challenge you to make fruitcake this year!  Visit the bulk goods section in your grocery store and pick out some items that appeal to your taste.  Look for a mix of colors to add interest to the cake.  And get started today!  Fruitcake needs to sit for two to three weeks to allow the flavors to properly develop and the cake to set to an evenly moist, dense loaf.  If you get going you’ll have a beautiful fruitcake just in time for Christmas!


Update December 2005:  Check out the recipe I posted here.



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