Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fruitcake. Yeah, Yeah, I Know.

So, at least hear me out.  Me?  Not a big fan of the fruitcake.  My parents on the other hand...  HUGE fans.  And several years ago I could no longer bear watching them eat the oversugared, store-bought variety with the unnaturally colored fruits.  So I decided to try my hand at making them.

And oddly enough, they were a huge hit and have been appearing in stockings ever since.  I don't impose them on others.  Just my folks.  That's what they get for not giving me that pony I asked for when I was 6.

But to be really, really honest...  the stuff's just not half bad.  I do eat around the raisins.  But aside from that, how bad can booze soaked cake and fruit be???

After about a week of soaking up the good stuff.

A Simple Fruitcake
Adapted from Dave Lieberman

1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dates, chopped
1 small orange, zested
1 cup brandy
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped dried pineapple
1 1/2 cups chopped raw pecans

Preheat oven to 250º.

Combine raisins, dates and orange rind and juice in a microwaveable bowl and pour over the brandy. Microwave for 2 minutes then let it sit while you prepare the batter.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.  Sift dry ingredients together onto a sheet of wax paper, then add to the mixer.  Mix just until combined.

Strain the brandy from the raisins and dates and reserve. Stir the raisin mixture, pineapple, and pecans into the batter.

Grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans (I used 4 mini pans) and line the bottom and sides with a piece of waxed paper. Spoon the batter evenly into pans.

Bake 3 hours. Let cool and remove from pan. Poke holes with a large skewer all over the cake.  Pour brandly slowly and evenly over cakes and allow to soak in.  Pull cakes out of pans and allow to cool.

Soak a large piece of cheesecloth in more brandy. Wrap cooled cakes in cheesecloth, place in large plastic bag and store in a cool, dry place.*

Me, I had no cheesecloth.  I wrapped mine in the wax paper 'wrappers' that they cooked in, and wrapped THOSE in a couple of layers of plastic wrap.  I also give mine another dose of brandy after a week.  I store them on a shelf in the garage.

And happy fruitcake to all, and to all a good night.

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