Friday, December 15, 2006

Fruitcake Anyone?

My husband really enjoys having fruitcake during the holiday season. I began making homemade fruitcake for him when we were so young. Back then we were very needy too, so making fruitcake seemed like such an extravagance, today it's even more of an extravagance! Candied fruit is so expensive! I have not been making it for the last few years for that reason. But... this year I made myself buy containers of candied fruit and it is now "mellowing".

I prefer to keep citron out of my cake but this year because I could not get candied pineapple, I am using it. I can taste the difference too. I don't care for that flavor. Doug would have only candied cherries if he had his way.

My parents either purchased or had fruitcake given to them by relatives. I remember it coming in the golden tins from Sears Roebuck & Co. Sometimes they had colorful pictures on them. It definitely satisfied the sweet tooth and more!

I searched online for a yellow fruitcake recipe that I use from my very old and worn-out Betty Crocker Cookbook, it's not exactly the same but pretty close! I add together the amount of fruit the recipe calls for then just put it all in a big bowl, rather that measure each amount. The recipe says preparation time: 30 minutes. ??? It takes me much longer, that fruit is sticky and I have to keep washing my hands when I cut it up, or else I feel like a "fruitcake"!

Yellow Fruitcake

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening (Crisco)
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup orange juice
2 1/4 cups eggs (about 9)
2 1/2 cups candied cherries, cut in half (about 1 pound)
3 cups golden raisins (1 15-ounce package)
2 cups candied pineapple, cut into chunks (3/4 pound)
2/3 cup candied citron peel, chopped
2/3 cup candied orange peel, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1 (4 ounce) can flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups blanched whole almonds
2 cups pecan halves

Heat oven to 275°F. Line 2 9x5x3 inch loaf pans with foil, and grease. Put all ingredients (except fruits and nuts) in a large mixer bowl. Mix for 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat for 3 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl occaisionally. Stir in fruits and nuts. Spread mixture evenly in pans. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If cakes start to get too brown, cover the top with aluminum foil for the last hour of baking. Remove from pans and cool on racks. When cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store in a cool place for 3-4 weeks (to mellow) before serving.

Does your family enjoy fruitcake or has it died (if fruitcake can die) along the way somewhere? Here in our house, it's still baked for hours and fills the whole house with lingering smells I've grown to expect during this time of the year.

The cake has already been cut open so I don't think we will have old mellow fruitcake... just fresh mellow fruitcake.


Constance said...

Having grown up with fruitcake, I LOVE it! POP's mom, MIMI would make fruitcake and then start soaking it in brandy or such a couple of months before Christmas. I am the only one in my immediate family that likes it though. Last year I splurged. In nearby Corsicana, Texas, there is a bakery that is world famous for their fruitcakes. I purchased their Apricot-Pecan one and ate the whole thing myself!!!YUMMY!

akeskileut said...

Ooo that sounds good. I don't make fruitcake,but what I use to make the most of at this time of the year is banana bread. I haven't made it the last couple of years. I was thinking of making some this year...yum!