Finally got around to posting my grandmother’s recipe!
Fruit Cake (Old fashioned Dark)
l lb. mixed candied fruit
l lb. raisins
1/4 cup sherry, dark fruit juice whatever (I like to use port wine)
1/4 cup molasses
l cup butter
1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. each mace and cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix fruit, molasses and wine. Let stand overnight.
Cream butter sugar & eggs. Add fruits & dry ingredients, mix. Fills 3 small loaf pans or 2 medium loaf pans or 2 1/2 qt. casserole. Line with foil and grease.
Bake at 275 for 2-1/2 hours with a dish of water in the oven. Cool and wrap in another layer of foil. Keeps for weeks, in fact improves with time.
A nice side effect of soaking 2 pounds of fruit in alcohol overnight: your kitchen smells delightfully fruity (and boozy) in the morning.
I learned (or rather re-learned) an important science lesson when creaming “butter sugar & eggs”. At first, I just dumped them all in a bowl together, then turned on the mixer. And waited. And waited. And waited. Not even my Magical Mixer was able to get these things to cream — instead, it was a soupy brown liquid with floating chunks of butter.
Butter is a fat. Fats are lipids. Lipids are hydrophobic, and will not mix with water. Eggs contain quite a lot of water — so I had dissolved the sugar in the eggs, and then tried to convince the butter to mix in, which it refused to do.
Luckily, I was able to strain the butter out…
…which was an incredibly messy job, and then dump the butter back into the mixer for better creaming. Adding the egg-and-sugar back to the creamed butter veeeeeery slowly did the trick.
Aside from that moment of stupidity, it was quite simple to mix everything together. It tastes like a light gingerbread, and is definitely a holiday flavor. When two pounds of fruit are mixed in, it’s incredibly dense!
I made it into cute little loaves and managed to give them all away without remembering to take a picture of the final baked product. Oops.
I’m not sure how to describe the flavor of these, because what comes to mind is “Grandma’s fruitcake”. I do recommend it, though. Take an opportunity to make a classic and remind friends and family that fruitcake isn’t necessarily disgusting (or nutty). Just make sure you try it this month, not December 2033.