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Fruitcake!

05-Dec-2005
 
I’m on a mission – a mission to clear fruitcake’s bad name!  Not all fruitcake is bad but so many people have been exposed to the seedy side of fruitcakes that they now lump all types into the undesirable category.  All I’m asking is give good fruitcake a chance!  
 
Every year, at this time of year, I find myself trying to justify my choice of baking and (horrors!) giving fruitcake as part of cookie baskets that I make for my family.  I feel like some sort of loony bin – how could I possibly think that anyone would want that stuff?!?!? 
 
Now, I understand the aversion to what many people think of when fruitcake comes to mind – that overwhelming sense of disgusting, fluorescent "fruit".  I hate those red and green cherries and pineapple!  Whose idea were those things, anyway?  But that is not what my fruitcake (or many others) are all about.  As in so many things, it’s the ingredients that make all the difference.  Any you won’t find anything but yummy dried fruits and lovely pecans going into my batter.  Yum! 
 
So to try to get you to give it another try, I thought I’d share my recipe with you.  Go ahead – take a chance!  :-)
 
 
         
 
 
 
Old Fashioned Fruitcake
Adapted from a recipe in Betty Crocker’s Christmas Cookbook
 
3 cups flour
1⅓ cups sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup orange juice
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
¼ cup dark molasses  
 
15 oz golden raisins (or a combination of raisins and dried cranberries)
4 oz pitted dates, cut in half
4 oz dried apricots, cut in half
5 oz dried sour cherries
5 oz dried pineapple (See Note 1)
8 oz pecans  
 
Heat oven to 275°F. Line 2 loaf pans, 9x5x3 inches with aluminum foil; grease. (See Note 2)  
 
Beat all ingredients except fruits and nuts in large mixing bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in fruits and nuts. Spread in pans.  
 
Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 2½ to 3 hours. You may need to cover cakes at some point to prevent excessive browning.  
 
Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil; store in refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks or freeze.  
 
Note 1: Feel free to browse the dried fruit aisle at your local grocery and substitute any fruits that appeal to you.  
 
Note 2: As you can see in the photos I’ve actually used a combination of pans, in this case a couple of small springform pans and a smaller bread pan. With my newer pans I don’t bother with the foil but I do use it in older bread pans to ensure the fruitcakes can be easily removed. If using smaller pans, adjust your baking time. Using these smaller pans my baking time was about 90 minutes.  
 
 
2 Comments
  1. Unknown permalink
    05-Dec-2005 10:50 am

    When I think of fruitcake, I can only think of Truman Capote\’s Christmas Memory. It was a good movie (not the Patty Duke version) that we watched every Christmas. I loved how they had to get the whiskey and how they sent a few cakes to movie stars and the president. Will you send any of yours to any movie stars?

  2. Culinary permalink
    06-Dec-2005 6:48 am

    :-) No plans to send these to movies stars or celebrities of any type… ~ B

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