OK, now. I know what you’re thinking. I mean, fruitcake? Isn’t fruitcake the food everyone loves to make fun of around Christmas? The cake that can sometimes also double as a hammer, a paper weight, or a doorstop?
Well, it’s true confession time. I like fruitcake. And I’m not afraid to admit it.
Of course, I say I like fruitcake with several stipulations. Firstly, I don’t care for it when it’s packed with loads and loads of weird jellied fruit. I want some real fruit up in here. And I don’t like it when it’s that weird hard lump of processed dryness that you’ll find in some stores. You know what I’m talking about. Fruitcake that is hard as a rock and about as moist as sandpaper.
This cake is none of those things. It is moist and light. A fruitcake that’s light! Woohoo! 🙂
And it’s speckled with dried fruit not of uncertain origin. The recipe says dried fruit of your choice. But just for a head’s up, I used a combination of dried cranberries, raisins, dates, and apricots. If you want a lil’ zing in your cake you might wander into the realm of crystallized ginger. Mmm.
This fruitcake might make you rethink how you feel about the oft-misunderstood dessert. Perhaps after this you’ll be defending fruitcake every chance you get. “It’s not always dry! It’s delicious if you make it right!” 😉
I tip my hat to you, fellow fruitcake lovers. Maybe the rest of the world will understand one day. 😉
(From a fruitcake recipe in The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion cookbook)
- For fruit:
- 6 cups of your favorite dried fruit
- 1 cup candied red cherries
- ¼ cup brandy or apple juice
- For Cake:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup dark corn syrup
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
- Combine dried fruit and brandy in a bowl and allow to macerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease three 8½ by 4½ loaf pans and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices until well incorporated.
- Add in the eggs and corn syrup, beating until well blended.
- Add in the flour and beat until smooth.
- Add in the milk, then add the undrained fruit, cherries, and nuts. Mix until completely combined.
- Spoon evenly into prepared pans and bake for 70 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for ten minutes, then turn out of the pans and brush with additional brandy or juice.