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The Fruitcake Topic


Suvir Saran
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Hee, hee.  I think Janet and I are the resident fruitcake supporters.  We support your ravenous chase for fruitcake.

Try this book -- Favorite Fruitcakes:  Recipes, Legends and Lore from the World's Best Cooks and Eaters by Moira Hodgson.  You can get it from Amazon.  Dolores Casella's World of Baking (also out of print, but available from Amazon or eBay) has a healthy section on fruitcake.

Enjoy your quest for the perfect fruitcake.

Thank Linda 4 sharing. What is the exact title of this book and by whom and lastly I got a question to ask? How to lessen the sweetness in fruit cake?

主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房

"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

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World of Baking by Dolores Casella.

It's out of print. You can get it on eBay or half.com.

How to make a fruitcake less sweet? I would imagine, adding less sugar to the cake batter. Or, actually, less fruit. You may want to up the nut ratio a bit and cut down on the fruit. Or include less sweet, tarter fruits like cranberries. Dates are terribly sweet and when I get too many in my fruitcake I'm displeased. Too sticky sweet. Ditto on figs. You may want to stick with all dried fruit and avoid candied fruit.

One of the wonders of fruitcake is the opportunity to make interesting fruit and nut combinations. Janet has an interesting light fruitcake recipe above and her explanation of her dark fruitcake vs. her light fruitcake shows up what I'm talking about.

An easy way to ease in to fruitcake is to try a fruitcake cookie -- Maida Heatter has a wonderful cookie called the California Fruit and Nut Bar -- something like that. One steams three fruits -- I believe date, apricot and fig -- and puts them into a cookie with either walnuts or pecans, I forget. A bar cookie. That tastes a great deal like fruitcake without the expense of time and money. Not as satisfying, but a baby step. I can email this to you if you PM me, which will remind me to do it when I'm at my home computer.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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World of Baking by Dolores Casella.

It's out of print.  You can get it on eBay or half.com.

How to make a fruitcake less sweet?  I would imagine, adding less sugar to the cake batter.  Or, actually, less fruit.  You may want to up the nut ratio a bit and cut down on the fruit.  Or include less sweet, tarter fruits like cranberries.  Dates are terribly sweet and when I get too many in my fruitcake I'm displeased.  Too sticky sweet.  Ditto on figs.  You may want to stick with all dried fruit and avoid candied fruit.

One of the wonders of fruitcake is the opportunity to make interesting fruit and nut combinations.  Janet has an interesting light fruitcake recipe above and her explanation of her dark fruitcake vs. her light fruitcake shows up what I'm talking about. 

An easy way to ease in to fruitcake is to try a fruitcake cookie -- Maida Heatter has a wonderful cookie called the California Fruit and Nut Bar -- something like that.  One steams three fruits -- I believe date, apricot and fig -- and puts them into a cookie with either walnuts or pecans, I forget.  A bar cookie.  That tastes a great deal like fruitcake without the expense of time and money.  Not as satisfying, but a baby step.  I can email this to you if you PM me, which will remind me to do it when I'm at my home computer.

I learned somethings from you. Grateful. My e-mail:duriank24@yahoo.com.sg. Linda can you share what type of oven you use at home for baking? Good day!

主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房

"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

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I'm glad I was able to be of help. Poor fruitcake has such a bad reputation and it is so very fun to make and really satisfying to eat.

I'll email you a couple of recipes from home.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I forgot to answer the oven question -- I don't have a convection oven or anything -- I have a very old gas oven that needs a new gasket and the temperature controls are off.

But it works.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone tried Kerry Beal's recipe posted on Recipe Gullet: Phil's White Fruitcake? I don't see that sugar is listed in the ingredients but it is mentioned in the instructions.

Thanks!

Genny

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  • 6 months later...

Made my first two fruitcakes yesterday. :cool: One was Kerry Beal's Phil's white fruit cake made with trader joe's dried strawberry/blueberry/cherry mix that I had been soaking in Matusalem platino rum for several months. I made them in muffin and mini muffin tins and I snacked on the mini ones all day. They were awesome fresh out of the oven with a little butter. :wub: Even better with a small glass of Disaronno. :wub::wub: The other recipe was the Bob's red mill recipe my mom had lost from years ago that I dug up on the net. Only nibbled on a small corner since I did it as a loaf and it said to let it set in the fridge for a couple days before cutting. Planning on wrapping it in rum soaked cheesecloth for awhile. Very happy with my first fruitcakes. And here I thought I hated the stuff. :rolleyes: Thanks for all the recipes and tips guys!

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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I should note that I didn't use the yeast listed in the ingredient list on the Bob's Red Mill recipe. Now that I've cut into it, I think it needs a little work. It's one of those that barely has enough batter to hold it together and I think it could use a bit more. Mom really likes the flavor of the whole wheat pastry flour used in it though. Got it wrapped in cheesecloth soaked in Zaya rum and tucked away in a cool place. We'll give it some time and check in on it.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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  • 4 months later...

My oven was just delivered. :cool: . So my fruitcakes won't be aged as long as usual - any favorite "fast fruitcake" recommendations gratefully received.

I'm planning on making one very lemony fruitcake with crystallized mini-tomatoes and ginger, and also looking at the semolina fruitcake mentioned on p. 6 of this thread.

I dream of making one that includes with crystallized violets and angelica along with candied orange and lemon slices, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

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I've organised (think out combining several recipes) great fruitcake without eggs and butter to keep the fast and I love it very much!

gallery_42184_3598_19674.jpg

Lenabo, do you mind sharing your recipe? I am planning on baking a Christmas cake this year (first time!) and would like to eliminate the eggs.

Veena

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Helen, if you think a cookie might work, I have two recipes for cookies that taste like fruitcake and are really delicious. I'll send them if you like, PM me.

Is that recipe with angelica a fantasy or do you really have one? I'd like it if you do. I've never seen a fruitcake recipe that calls for angelica.

I ordered a bunch of fruit and nuts last night for mine, hoping I can make it Thanksgiving weekend, which is when I usually do.

I bought five pounds of organic walnuts!!!

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Helen, if you think a cookie might work, I have two recipes for cookies that taste like fruitcake and are really delicious.  I'll send them if you like, PM me.

Is that recipe with angelica a fantasy or do you really have one?  I'd like it if you do.  I've never seen a fruitcake recipe that calls for angelica.

I ordered a bunch of fruit and nuts last night for mine, hoping I can make it Thanksgiving weekend, which is when I usually do.

I bought five pounds of organic walnuts!!!

Hi Lindacakes,

I'm not Helen, but I've been looking for a really good fruitcakey cookie. Could I get those recipes too?

pat

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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Helen, if you think a cookie might work, I have two recipes for cookies that taste like fruitcake and are really delicious.  I'll send them if you like, PM me.

Hi Lindacakes,

I'm not Helen, but I've been looking for a really good fruitcakey cookie. Could I get those recipes too?

pat

I'm not Lindacakes, but here's my recipe for Fruitcake Cookies.

It's in the wonderful Christmas Cookies thread.

Fruitcake Cookies

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Helen, if you think a cookie might work, I have two recipes for cookies that taste like fruitcake and are really delicious.  I'll send them if you like, PM me.

Hi Lindacakes,

I'm not Helen, but I've been looking for a really good fruitcakey cookie. Could I get those recipes too?

pat

I'm not Lindacakes, but here's my recipe for Fruitcake Cookies.

It's in the wonderful Christmas Cookies thread.

Fruitcake Cookies

OK, folks. How's this for a senior moment? After misplacing this recipe, I managed to forget that I made them last year. They were, I might add, a huge success. So I highly recommend them.

Sigh.... If only I had realized I was going to need all those brain cells back in my misspent youth, I might have taken better care of them. :rolleyes:

pat

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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Thank you for the fruitcake cookie recipe - I find Japanese friends enjoy the spicey fruity taste without the mature aroma of fruitcake.

I have used angelica in fruitcakes when I can get it (especially light fruitcakes), and love the combination of violets and citrus....but until I get a source for them, that will be a dream. I think they would be great for a summertime downunder fruitcake. Anybody feel like experimenting?

Currently candying some green "oroblanco" grapefruit peel for some color contrast. It takes several days to finish the candying process, but I like grapefruit peel in fruitcake...anything to avoid a cake dominated by the excessively violent sweet and sour taste of most candied pineapple.

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I have used angelica in fruitcakes when I can get it (especially light fruitcakes), and love the combination of violets and citrus....but until I get a source for them, that will be a dream.

Are you looking for angelica? I've seen it at Tokyu Hands, but just one or two short sticks of it for maybe Y500? I can't remember now.

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Yes, I've seen those two-stick packages occasionally too!

I now have several little bags of fruit soaking in either brandy with CC lemon (a lemon soft drink, rum, or Asahi's "Ginger Draft" beer (OK to drink, but even better for cakes!). Ginger ale + brandy/Grand Marnier works well too, both to soak fruit and to sprinkle on finished cakes.

What are your favorite soaking and sprinkling liquids/liquors?

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Thanks for the recipe, Pat, I will try those.

Helen, I really like candied pineapple!!! Isn't it funny how people form really strong likes and dislikes where candied fruit is concerned? I can't find enough ways to use angelica -- I like it in sheep's milk ricotta filling for cannoli along with miniature chocolate chips. Very tasty.

Here is the first of my favored fruitcake cookie recipes. Not exactly fruitcake, but when you want that flavor and you don't want to spend a lot of money and wait a lot of time to get it, these will do. Very delicious.

Maida Heatter’s California Fruit Bars

1 generous cup of dried fruit – apricot, fig, date

4 large eggs

1 pound box brown sugar (2 1/4 cups)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

7 ounces (2 cups) walnut halves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a jelly roll pan with foil and butter it.

Cut dried fruit into small pieces.

Steam over simmering water for 15 minutes.

Uncover and set aside.

In a 3 quart saucepan beat eggs, add sugar and mix.

Place over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir and scrape until sugar melts.

Remove from heat.

Add salt, vanilla and flour one cup at a time.

Whisk until smooth.

Stir in fruit, then nuts.

Pour evenly into pan and smooth.

Bake 15 minutes until golden brown with a shiny top.

Cool, cut and wrap individually.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Here's the second one. These are suprisingly good and suprisingly like fruitcake. Very, very tasty, too.

Holiday Date-Nut Cookies

Epicurious.com / Bon Appetit / December, 1992

1 pound pitted dates, chopped

8 ounces candied pineapple, chopped (about 1 2/3 cups)

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped Brazil nuts (about 8 ounces)

2 cups blanched slivered almonds, lightly toasted (about 8 ounces)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Combine fruit and nuts in bowl.

Add 1/2 cup flour and mix to separate pieces.

Combine remaining 2 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl.

Beat butter in large bowl until light.

Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy.

Beat in eggs 1 at a time.

Fold dry ingredients into butter mixture.

Mix in fruits and nuts.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets. Transfer to rack and cool.

Can be prepared 1 week ahead.

Store in airtight container.

Makes about 6 1/2 dozen.

NOTE:

The bottoms of these cookies get quite brown – I baked at 350 for ten minutes.

These are really delicious cookies, very addictive.

The batter is very delicate and adds just enough to the fruit and nuts.

Try with macadamia, pecan, coconut, and pineapple or any combination of two fruits and two nuts.

Try making them in a mini muffin pan – bite-sized fruitcakes.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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As we speak, I am holding two very precious Christmas gifts on my kitchen counter-two "Great Northern Fruitcakes" that are vintage 2006.

The little jewels have been wrapped in brandy-soaked cheesecloth for three years. I have lovingly doused them with a shower of brandy every three months during their slumber in the pantry. And in just a few more weeks I will wake them from their liquor infused dreams and we'll eat them for Christmas.

These are photos of their cousin, Fruitcake 2005, which we ate last year:

gallery_41580_4407_3298.jpg

I use a recipe, (posted in the link below), that was created by the bakers of the Great Northern Railrod company. In a bygone era, Fruitcake regularly appeared on holiday menus on Great Northern passenger trains like the "Empire Builder" and the "North Coast Limited." But the days of grand dining aboard regularly scheduled passenger trains is all but gone, replaced with passable Amtrak diners that do not serve fruitcake.

gallery_41580_4407_19347.jpg

I suspect those of you who are reading these pages join me as a lover of this delicious, (often-derided), little bundle of fruit, nuts and cake.

You may be interested in reading a piece I once wrote about fruitcake:

http://www.themediadrome.com/content/artic...s/fruitcake.htm

I'd love to see photos of your fruitcakes.

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  • 1 year later...

With luck this topic is maturing with the long laying down.

As I wrote in 'Infusions & Tinctures at home', back in March I infused some whisky with raisins, citrus and spices to make Irish Cordial according to a 19th century recipe.

I put the soaked raisins in a sealed box in the fridge and finally got round to using them in a fruitcake. I chose a Great-war-era recipe for 'condensed milk fruitcake' from Marguerite Patten's A Century of British Cooking. She says it was related to her as an austerity-beating way to get round the unavailability of sugar.

The recipe called for 6oz / ~180g of raisins - I tipped my batch in and found that wet, it was 230g. I left the hot mixture I'd tipped it into, to cool uncovered so some of the liquid could evaporate. By luck rather than design it worked out well:

DSCF0203.JPG

DSCF0211.JPG

DSCF0220.JPG

Good ? It's redolent of whisky, nutmeg and other spices, and rich with butter and egg. Are you kidding ?

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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  • 3 months later...

Cleaned out a cupboard today and found a glass jar with dried fruit soaking in alcohol. I dated it 8/08. The jar is only half full, I guess the alcohol evaporated, and I'm wondering if I can still use it? Any ideas?

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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