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Monday, November 8, 2010

Fruit Cake

I have old granny tastebuds, I admit it.  But every year the week after Halloween finds me making fruitcake for the holiday season.  In our family only I, Robyn and Spencer like fruitcake.  But nothing says holiday time for me like a piece of fruitcake with a cup of hot chocolate while reading a new book or looking at Christmas cards.  I used to make my Grandma Drechsel's recips but was never quite pleased with the results.  So last year we experimented to find our favorite recipe.  You are supposed to let fruitcake age in a cupboard wrapped up in saran wrap and aluminum foil.  But after an unfortunate event early in our marriage where I helped myself to a piece of fruitcake in a dark kitchen only to learn that it was not a green cheery piece I was eating but rather a moldy piece of fruitcake I take the cautious route.  I stick them in my freezer and then let them age for a week out in my cupboard before I eat them.  I have the feeling that no one else will ever make this recipe but me.  Since I love it though, it is going into the master cookbook.  This recipe is adapted from the Lionhouse cookbook


2 c chopped dates
3 c raisins
1 c candied pineapple
1 c candied red cherries
1 lb fruitcake mix (4 c)
2 c chopped pecans
2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp mace
1/4 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c melted butter
1 1/4 c brown sugar
4 eggs
1/4 c honey
1/4 c citrus based fruit juice

In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, salt, cloves, mace, soda, and cinnamon.  Stir in the dried and candied fruit and nuts, making sure everything is well coated with the flour mixture.
In a large mixer bowl beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs, honey and fruit juice.  Pour into the large mixing bowl holding the fruit and flour mixture.  Stir by hand till everything is well mixed together.
Spray two 8 x 4 inch pans with cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.  Spray again.  Fill the pans 3/4 full.
Heat oven to 275 degrees.  On the lower rack of the oven place a pan of water.  Cook the fruit cakes on the second level.
Bake 2 1/2 hours at 275 degrees.  (You can do smaller loaves for 2 hours)  Cool
When cool dribble on additional fruit juice and wrap in saran wrap and foil.  Let age one week in a cool, dry place before eating.  I store mine in the freezer till ready to use and then age for one week.