I love fruitcake. There. I’ve said it. I know it’s much maligned, but I really do love it. My mother used to make it when I was younger, and I used to hold up the slices to the light and try to see through the fruitcake, imagining that the candied fruits were pieces in a stained glass window. The candied pineapple was my favourite, because it was in bigger chunks and you could see through it better; then I ate the red cherries, then the green, and then the candied citrus peel. The raisins, currants, and nuts were eaten last, along with the rest of the slice. Are you a fruitcake-lover? Let me know in the comments!
I really don’t know why fruitcake gets such a bad rap — it’s delicious! Fruity and fragrant and moist, it’s a mouthful of yummy-ness! I wish it was around for more than just Christmas-time. And in that vein, Christmas may be over, but I want me some fruitcake, so a fruitcake recipe smackdown it is! I’ll be making fruitcake today, and fruitcake bars next. So not quite apples to apples, but apples to oranges. Eh. It’s all fruit!
I bought the candied fruits before Christmas, and I have to say, even though I bought them at a bulk store, they weren’t exactly cheap. Christy of Southernplate.com says that her mother buys candied fruit after the holidays, when it’s on sale, and then keeps it in her freezer until the holidays roll around the following year. I may have to try that! I couldn’t find any candied pineapple, so…I made my own! Using this recipe. It was pretty easy. Easier still? Buying it! But I wanted to bake tonight, so make it, I did.
I bookmarked lots of different fruitcake recipes, and then modified a few to come up with my own version. Want to bake some delicious fruitcake yourself? Let’s!
- 1/4 c. rum
- 1/2 c. candied cherries, red and green each (so 1 c. total)
- 1/2 c. candied citrus peel
- 1 c. candied pineapple
- 1 c. pecan halves
- 1 c. cranberries
- 1/2 c. butter
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 c. and 1 tbsp. of brown sugar
- 1 c. flour
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
Mix together all the candied fruits and stir with the rum. Let sit for at least an hour, preferably until all the liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Mix in 1/2 c. flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice. Mix 1/2 c. flour with fruit and nuts. Stir fruit and nuts into batter. Pour batter into a prepared loaf pan (I lined mine with parchment paper). Bake in 275 degree oven for 3 hours, or until knife inserted comes out clean.
Pro Tip: Fruitcakes need to bake on low temperatures, which is why they bake for so long. If you find your fruitcake is getting dry on top, put a container of water in the oven along with the fruitcake. The water will evaporate and help keep the fruitcake moist.
Basically, this cake is candied fruit and nuts, held together by a smidgen of dough. I don’t like the classic raisins in a fruitcake, so I used dried cranberries, and I prefer pecans over walnuts or any other nut in a fruitcake, so that’s what I used. But feel free to substitute! I’m going to baste this cake in rum as is (I couldn’t find cheesecloth at my local store), repeating until the DH comes home. Then it’s time to eat the cake! Unless I taste a slice, you know, for taste-testing smackdown purposes. I think that’s a good reason!
In the meantime, I’ll making fruitcake bars, that I can eat before the DH comes back. Knowing my penchant for snacking and my love of fruitcake, I don’t expect any of the fruitcake bars to be around when he’s back. Ah well. Lots of salad for meals to make up for it!
Next Post: Either the fruitcake bars, or a Bake-a-Long recipe. Preferences?
Linking up at Meal Plan Monday!