There are some things which are oft-maligned in our culture: the postal service, meatloaf, and fruitcake come to my mind. I just don't get it. Granted, the USPS is far from perfect, but I will take it any day over most countries' postal systems. Meatloaf? Well mine is pretty darn yummy-- just ask Jon.
Which brings me to fruitcake. Why has this lovely creation become the butt of so many jokes? Is it because of companies like Cla*ton, and the garbage they try to pass of as confection? Whatever the reason, I am starting a campaign to restore respect to the Noble Fruitcake.
I am starting with this recipe, my great-grandmother's:
White Fruit Cake
3/4 pounds butter
2 c sugar
4 c sifted flour
3 t b powder
1 t salt
1/2 c juice and rind of one lemon
2 T vanilla
8 oz citron
4 rings pineapple (2 red 2 green) (chopped)
2 lb white raisins
2 c + coconut
3/4 lb blanched almonds
Cover raisins with cold water, bring to a boil, drain and cool. Dredge the fruit in 1/2 cup of the flour. Line pans with three layers of brown paper.
Reserve a cup or so of batter before the fruit goes in; smooth over the cakes before baking (this helps prevent fruit from sticking out the top and burning.
Recipe makes four small loaf pans. Bake at 275-300 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
My Gram tells me that the three layers of brown paper is very important to prevent over-browning of the cakes.
This year my gram will not be making these. At 84, she finds the physical labor too taxing. I, on the other hand, have a husband with strong stirring arms. Jon and I will be making these next weekend. Family, do not be surprised to have one show up at your door. It is all a part of my plan. You have been warned.