Holiday Fruitcake Recipe
Tis the season with all the tra-la-la! Time to whip up that food abomination, FRUITCAKE! There are few foods that catch such a bad rap. Fruitcake vies for the nastiest food, competing for top honors with liver/onions and that local fair vendor favorite, deep-fried Twinkies. Here’s a bit of trivia for you – fruitcakes originated in ancient Rome and carried on through the Middle Ages. Common ingredients included pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and barley mash.
We all know fruitcake as a “pass it forward” type of food gift. A traditional chunk of “stick in the throat/can’t swallow it down with any amount of liquid” piece of holiday cheer. It’s that hard block of candied fruits and obscure nuts your Aunt Louise gives to you every year. A food that is shoved into the back of your pantry shelf until you have occasion to gift it forward to an unsuspecting someone else.
I’ve had the good, bad and downright ugly in fruitcakes over the years….enough bad to tinker up my own recipe. This homemade fruit and nut cake may be what turns your inner fruitcake hater into a jealous F-Cake hoarder!
To truly do this recipe justice, it needs to be started at least three months before the holidays. I’ve named it the Holiday Booze Crooze Cake in deference to its inclusion of three lovely liquors – an analogy which leads to an island of three wise men…or something significantly similar. Bon appetit and make merry holiday memories with it!
- Figs - Dates
- Pineapple Fresh or Canned to add moisture to cake
- Candied Fruits
- Citron Bits
- Cherries (Not a fan of cherries? use a mix of fresh strawberries & raspberries
- Ginger Candied or Fresh
- Eggs 2 Eggs per loaf
- Real Butter and/or Veg Shortening Softened
- Maple Syrup
- Half & Half Cream
- Orange Juice
- Spices & Nuts
- Walnuts lightly toasted
- Pecans lightly toasted
- Almonds lightly toasted
- Brazil Nuts
Liquids & Nuts
- Preheat oven to 300 F. Lightly grease a bread loaf pan; line with parchment paper.
- Gently heat (15 mins - low-low heat) in saucepan, all fruit in mixture of alcohols. ***Be very careful when heating the alcohol, it is highly flammable.
- Cool fruit and liquid. Add prepped nuts to the fruit/alcohol mixture. Place all in lidded jars or tightly cover sealed bowl. Let this mixture marinate in cool ,dark place for at least a month - shaking jars or stirring ingr's in bowl every 3-4 days.
- Drain liquid from fruit and nuts, reserving in separate dish.
- Whisk together dry ingredients. Stir in nuts and fruits until well coated.
- In separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, butter/shortening and combination of liquid ingr's with reserved alcohol until smooth. Add this to fruit/nut mixture; mix well until fully combined and all fruits and nuts are coated with batter.
- Evenly spread the thick batter mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake at 300 F degrees until top of fruitcake is lightly browned and pulling away from sides of the pan, about 65 to 75 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven; cool on a wire rack 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
- Wrap in muslin or several layers of cheesecloth. Douse the cakes with a mixture of the three alcohols, place each cake into sealed baggie. Keep cakes in cool, dark cupboard.
- Every 3-4 days dribble a mixture of the three alcohols onto tops of each cake, letting it run down sides. Do this for two months before Christmas gifting time.
- Serve thin slices of the F-Cake, plain or with hard sauce or cream cheese sugar glaze.
This fruitcake is wall to wall fruits and nuts, with only enough batter to hold it together. Mix a spare amount of dry/wet/egg ingredients in relation to the amount of fruit and nuts.
**For a sublime taste treat, forego any sugar frosting and top each slice of F-Cake with a slice of soft Brie Cheese.
Also, kick up your presentation by baking individual cup-fruitcakes or bake in a traditional ring pan.
You may also deck the cake tops with alcohol marinated candied fruits. ....or arrange a couple of tiny toy palm trees on each cake top to complete the fruity booze crooze effect.