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My fruitcake method — The Grow Network Community
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My fruitcake method

blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

I say my method, because my recipe varies. And though I've been making it for more than ten years, I never seem to make note of helpful little details like, say, how long to bake it or how many it makes, partly because I always make a variety of sizes. I've hesitated to share this then, but I've decided to anyway because if you don't mind a little trial and error, it really makes a delicious fruitcake. People who do not normally eat fruitcake love mine. So, without further ado, the method.

  1. Start with a banana bread recipe. I started using the recipe from the twelth addition of Fanny Farmer, I switched a few years ago to the Better homes and Gardens recipe, and I'm experimenting with a gluten-free version. All have been good. Once all the ingredients are in, no one can tell that the base is banana bread. It just gives a moist, pleasant background for all the tasty add-ins. I also add a teaspoon or two of vanilla, which I think mellows it even more. Sometimes I replace some of the banana with applesauce or apple butter.
  2. Use lots and lots of dried fruit. For a recipe that would make a 9x5 loaf of banana bread, add 5 or 6 cups of dried fruit. There should be about as much fruit as there is batter. Use a mix of darker mellow fruits( like dates, figs, raisins) and tangier fruits( like cranberries, tart cherries, gold raisins). I typically do not use candied fruits- most of them have dyes and artificial nasties, and they just taste weird and medicinal. Last year I did include some Amarena cherries that I got from Aldi- the ingredients seemed relatively real food, and they tasted very nice. I won't use maraschino cherries.
  3. You can replace 1 or 2 cups of dried fruit with chopped nuts. Walnuts or pecans are the best, in my opinion.
  4. Add one very well-drained can of crushed pineapple in juice, reserving the juice.
  5. Make homemade candied peel. This will make a world of difference. Really, it can make or break the recipe. I use the recipe from my Fanny Farmer cookbook, but this seem similar.https://www.daringgourmet.com/how-to-make-candied-orange-and-lemon-peel/. Use 1/2 to 1 cup.
  6. This will make quite a few small fruitcakes, plus a loaf pan. I mostly make mini loafs; they are just the right size for giving as gifts. When I bake in a full size loaf pan, I only fill half full. Otherwise I think it would not bake through before the top burnt. Even as it is, sometimes I get burnt raisins on top(only the raisins). I just pull them off, sometimes sticking in other fruit.
  7. As soon as you take them out of the oven, brush them with the pineapple juice. It will sizzle and form a kind of glaze on top- gives a nice shine. Just don't over do it.
  8. Keep them in the refrigerator, and use within a week. This does not contain alcohol, so it will not keep much longer than any other cake. It does freeze beautifully, however.


I did actually think to(partially) write down what a I did last year so here it goes,

Fruitcake 2018


3 bananas(1 ½ c. smashed)

¼ c. apple butter

¾ c. chopped candied orange peel

¾ c. amarena cherries( candied black cherries)

1 can very well drained crushed pineapple (1 c. pineapple)

3 eggs

2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 ½ sticks of butter, melted

1 c. sugar (sucanat mostly, some white)

3 c. flour

2 tsp. Baking powder

¾ tsp. Baking soda

½ tsp. Salt

9 c. dried mixed fruit ( raisins, cranberries, figs, dates)

Mix like banana bread, fold in dried and candied fruit. I don't see nuts on the list but I probably added a cup. Bake at 350 until done- firm and browned on top. Brush with pineapple juice.

The above is a batch-and-a-half. You might notice that less pineapple is listed proportionately than in my method. I assume I did that because I was adding the amarena cherries.

I know, such precise directions. Maybe America's Test Kitchen will hire me.

Comments

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 1,222 admin

    This looks great - thanks for posting! I really love fruitcake, but am not a fan of the store bought or neon colored candy fruit varieties. I like Alton Brown's recipe from Good Eats, but it is pricy!

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,200 ✭✭✭✭

    May I be forgiven for first thoughts of "My fruitcake Method" to do what?

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,410 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl - re your "first thoughts of 'My fruitcake Method' to do what?" <- ROFLOL

    Let me tell you, as a non-American born kiddo, when I 1st. heard of "Fruit-cake", I asked "Goody, how many FRUITS are in it, hopefully LOTS of berries starting with Blueberries, & Raspberries, & Currants, & Blackberries, Right?"

    only to next hear "No, no - this fruit-cake is mainly used as a DOOR-STOP." - I went, Shirley you jest?, that's totally CRAZY !!"

    only to be then told "Yes, & WHY they call it a Fruit-cake. The longer it ages, the more it turns into a BRICK at which point it is only useful to be used as a DOOR-STOP." - so I ventured one last time "Why don't people eat it to begin with?"

    And that finished that discussion, as I was informed: "After you ever have tasted one, you will understand WHY it is left to turn into a Brick, lol" -> I thought Americans are getting stranger by the second, the minute, & the day, lol

    And THEN, I tasted one. - And the rest is history.

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