Sunday I went to The Cave for the kick off of our annual holiday baking. We made pounds upon pounds of fruitcake. We then packed it into tins and will be feeding our sweet cakes every other day fine Rum. Until December 15th when we will feast on the tasty moist aged yumminess. This is not fruitcake as most people have had this is a well crafted, loved and cared for legacy….Actually I made fruit cake the first tome last year. I had never had one I liked and figured if I made it, it had to be good (this superior cooking arrogance has bitten me in my ass many times). Luckily it turned out lovely last year and gained some converts. The recipe was a compilation of a few I had researched except the written style of the directions came from one specific recipe which I don’t remember where but did have picture of a sock monkey making the fruitcake (really I dont make these things up). I want to clarify I DO NOT use glace fruits (the neon green and red things in the grocery store fruit cake) only real dried fruits and nuts. I do have a few recipe notes to
–This makes a fairly large recipe-one 9×13 baking pan and one 8×8 baking pan. You can bake in whatever works for you. I bake in large pans and then cut tin sized chunks and pack them into foil lined tins. I pack them dense and tight. Use spare pieces of cake to really pack em in there. They will all meld together.
–I made a teetotaler tin last year feeding it 2 times a week on natural apple cider. It tuned out well. I did monitor it as I was worried it would mold. I did move it to the refrigerator after a few weeks and kept feeding it cider.
–The foil in the tin should be long enough to cover the top of the cake, I also place a layer of plastic wrap on the top to retain moisture.
1 lb butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup sugar
½ cup honey
Juice and zest of 1 orange and lemon
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 cup pistachios small chopped
1 cup raisins golden
2 lb dried fruits of apricots, cherries, strawberries, figs, dates, crystallized ginger, mango, blueberries, cranberries, hibiscus flowers
4 cups flour
1 cup sour cream
½ cup marmalade or jam
1/2 cup liquor (bourbon or rum)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Mix all the deliciously sticky dried fruit and nuts in a large bowl. Lightheartedly toss it with a cup of the flour until lightly coated to keep it from clumping together.
The eggs are separated and the yolks are resting. Stiffly beat the egg whites to stay fluffy and attentive in their bowl. Cream the butter and sugars.Add the egg yolks to the mixer to kick off the official making of the fruitcake! sour cream leads the way into the mixer followed closely by honey and the elusive marmalade.
Assemble the salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour. In batches mix in flour gradually, followed by the boisterous liquor, zest and citrus juice. It’s official, we have batter! When all ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth, creamy, luxuriously thick and tantalizingly and fragrant we say the batter is the embodiment of mixing perfection at low-speed, the fruit is gradually added until it is enrobed in the batter of perfection.
The egg whites are gently folded into the sublime melange and the mixer is turned off. It is time to transfer the batter to the sacred baking pan. Smooth the top of the batter as you would rake the rocks in a zen garden. Carefully position the fruitcake-to-be in on the center rack of the oven. To make his stay a wee bit more comfortable, place an oven-proof pan of water on the rack below to simulate a relaxing schvitz at the turkish bath. Remove steam bath after an hour and continue cookie for an additional 30 minute at 350 degrees. Start cooling and spritz with booze. when cooled to the touch, i run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert the cake pan on to the cooling rack.
Bake is any size pan oiled and lined with parchment. I then when cool cut into whatever sizes I need for storage tins, where they will nestle sleeping bathed 3-4 times a week in sweet rum until weeks later they awaken drunk and moist like young girls ready to be taken advantage of.