My Fruitcake Is Near Perfection!
Dec. 15, 2012 6:09 am
Updated: Dec. 24, 2012 10:24 am
I reworked my fruitcake, this year. I was very happy with the previous recipe but I didn't resist trying a couple more things in an attempt to improve upon it. Because it is rather expensive to make (very little flour and lots of fruit and pecans) I was
quite nervous whenever I thought of failure. I had disregarded a few changes as being insignificant and the changes I did make were made once I had built my confidence level enough to go ahead and do it.
The most significant change was rinsing the syrup or sugar from the candied fruit. I am very sensitive to sugar in large quantities and my previous recipes had spots of too much sugar that I discovered were alsways related to a piece of candied fruit.
This year, when I opened the packages, I saw the syrup or sugar and decided to rinse a small portion of the fruit and try it. What a huge positive difference! I had been blaming my mixing as not being thorough. Those sweet spots were not my fault, after all!
So, I rinsed all of the candied fruit. Secondly, rinsing the sugar or syrup off the fruit made mising the ingredients much easier because the fruiot wouldn't clump.
The second most significant change was using Splenda Brown Sugar Blend instead of granulated sugar. It is still a certain ammount of refined sugar but, as it turns out, it is tolerable for me in a recipe of this volume.
Third change is more use of fruit common to the colder areas in combination with citrus fruits.
When the fruitcake had cooled, after baking, I cut a piece to test and my own immediate review is, "Holy s**t! Hot d**n! It's a winner"! ( Actually, I am a very humble and quiet person who seldom brags about personal accomplishments.) I had no sugar reaction
and the flavor was unlike anything I've had before. I sliced a piece for my wife and she had a very favorable review. Nowhere near as dramatic as mine, but she doesn't have the sugar issue, either.
I resisted the temptation to not ripen it and brushed it with the peach schnapps, put it in a ZipLoc and then stored it in a container. I'll brush it again on Monday and Friday.
I had a late start on it, this year, because of life things that had greater priority. Normally, I ripen the fruit cake for six weeks.
Here's the new recipe. If you want to make it this year, you should have a great tasting recipe without the ripening process.
I used the brand names of some ingredient because that is what I used, not because I own shares in the companies. I would have used Stevia, my preferred sugar substitute, I didn't find any with the brown sugar blend.
Here's this years recipe. It may just be the final draft.
Holiday Fruit and Nut Cake
1 pound Dried Pineapple, coarsely chopped
1 pound figs, coarsely chopped
2 pounds Pecan Halves
1 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
4 each Large Eggs
1/4 pound Red Candied Cherries, syrup rinsed off
1/4 pound Green Candied cherries, syrup rinsed off
1/4 pound Candied orange peel, syrup rinsed off
1/2 pound Mixed Candied Fruit- without citron, syrup rinsed off
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2. Cut pineapple and dates into coarse pieces. (Omit if using chopped fruit.) Place in a very large mixing bowl and (using hands) mix with whole cherries and candied fruit. Mix thoroughly to assure the cherries and fruit are not in clumps and well separated.
3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt over fruit and mix well with hands until ingredients are well covered and separated.
4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs well. Gradually add sugar mixing well between additions. Combine with fruit mixture in the large bowl.
5. Add pecans, mixing with hands until uniformly mixed with fruit.
6. Using vegetable shortening, grease two 9"x5" loaf pans. Line bottom and sides with parchment paper. Grease paper. Pack pans tightly.
7. Or, to make a wreath, pack batter very tightly into lined bundt pans.
8. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Toward end of baking time, check often to prevent over-browning.
9. Turn onto cooling racks. Remove paper. When cool, brush with peach schnapps, store in air-tight containers for 2 or 3 weeks. This ripening period is very important to achieve the final flavor of the fruitcake.
10. Brush with peach schnapps once a week and re-wrap.
Addenda 12/15/04: (1) Be sure to very firmly pack the pans with the mix. Any air spaces will weaken slices which could fall apart when cut from the cake. (2) Any dried or candied fruit can be used as long as the weight remains close to the
same. (3) I would do without the candied cherries but the color of the season is conveyed with them so they appear in this recipe.