I first ran into this recipe 35 years ago when I was married to a man who HATED fruitcake. We had always had fruitcake for Christmas & New Year's so I knew my family would expect it. I made my basic fruitcake using this as a base, added a little cardamom to make it more like what he was used to from northern Europe and Voila! best Christmas cake ever! You can make it with anything... pumpkin, sweet potatoes, zucchini, actually any grated squash, carrots, parsnips, beets, potatoes (amp up the spices a little), apples, pears, firm peaches or plums, figs, raisins, dates, currants, gooseberries, aronia, goji, loganberries, honeyberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries or blueberries (fresh or dried), any dried fruit, any nuts (I prefer them unsalted), or mix them up however you like for your own unique fruitcake recipe. Yes, you may make it with soy, rice or almond or other nut milk, you just may need to adjust for consistency on day 10. Experiment! Use your imagination! Same with spices. Try mace instead of nutmeg (gentler); allspice in place of cloves. Cardamom has been my secret ingredient for years. Those who have never had those crispy, brown German Christmas cookies usually don't recognise the flavor. So, maybe a batch doesn't turn out so well. You'd be amazed what does. Yellow beets or carrots will have everyone wondering. Whenever I had starter left over, I just baked it & sent it to work with my husband, or gave it to my stepsons to share around.
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I first ran into this recipe 35 years ago when I was married to a man who HATED fruitcake. We...