Friday, November 20, 2009

My Mom's Fruitcake

I made my first batch of fruitcake of the season yesterday. When it's cooled, I wrap it in foil and refrigerate it over night before slicing it. My husband wasn't up and going too long this morning before asking, "Is any of that fruitcake cut yet?"

Part of the mixture for the fruitcake needs to be started the night before the baking. so when I impulsively started it late Wednesday night, I found myself a little short of the dried fruit I wanted to add to complete the recipe first thing yesterday morning. I was thinking especially of dried cherries and apricots . . . which I didn't have in my pantry.

But I knew no one would refuse to eat Mom's Fruitcake made with raisins (both regular and golden), craisins, dates, and dried apples so I'm calling this my first batch of the season (one loaf is already missing quite a few slices and one loaf just left with my daughter), and when I shopped yesterday afternoon, I got my dried cherries and apricots for another batch.

I once asked my mom why it was necessary to start part of the recipe the night before and let it sit before continuing with the mixing and baking the next day. She replied that she had no idea but did know that once she rushed the process by doing it all in one day, and that fruitcake wasn't nearly as good as usual. So there you go. You'll need to plan ahead just a little should you try this recipe.

My Mom's Fruitcake

Mix together in large saucepan and boil for 5 minutes:
1-3/4 C honey
1/4 C molasses
1 C butter
1 pound raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 C hot water

(Once the above mixture starts to boil, I turn the heat down so that it just keeps gently burbling for the 5 minutes.)

Remove from heat and let mixture sit on counter over night.

Next day, pour cooled mixture into large mixing bowl. Add:
3-1/2 C flour (white, whole wheat or combination)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 C chopped nuts
1 C chopped dates
1 C chopped dried fruit of your choice

(Gotta admit I sometimes go a little overboard on the cup of dried fruit. But it never seems to hurt the fruitcake at all. Just has more yummy chewiness to it.)

Grease and lightly flour three loaf pans. Spoon batter (it will be thick) into pans and smooth out with a spatula.

Bake in a 300° oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove to cooling racks. The fruitcake will slice much easier if you wrap the loaves in foil and refrigerate over night. They also freeze very well. (If not frozen, I always store mine in the refrigerator.)

If you desire, you can wrap the loaves in cheesecloth, soak with liquor of your choice and let mellow in a cool place for a month or so. Mmmmm, good!


Jennifer Jo said...

I've never had good fruitcake. I've maybe never even had fruitcake, for that matter. I'm not sure, but this does sound good. Maybe you want to make a loaf, soak it in rum, and then offer it up as a bloggy Christmas gift? It's just that I would have to win the prize---that would have to be a given, of course.

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Mama JJ - These things CAN be rigged, you know. ;o)

Marty said...

Thanks, I'm looking forward to making one (since I won't be there to enjoy yours for Christmas). Wish I could be there!!!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Mart - One of these years . . . it sure would be nice for all of us to be together for the holidays! Enjoy the fruitcake.

Sue said...

We've all heard the jokes about fruitcake. Seriously, I've never had it BECAUSE of all the jokes about fruitcake. But maybe, MAYBE, I should try it. And if I don't like it-I have a new brick to prop open the screen door!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Sue - Our daughter, of course, grew up on this fruitcake. When she got out into the world (school and all) she just didn't "get" all the jokes about fruitcake! I mean wasn't fruitcake yummy and something everybody looked forward to having each year around holiday time? She didn't know that our fruitcake didn't bear much resemblance to what most other people referred to as fruitcake!

Jo said...

Thanks for the recipe! If anything, I think I'll go overboard with the nuts. This will taste very very good with a hot mug of tea on a cold December morning.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Jo - You better believe it will! (More nuts won't hurt a thing.)

RuthieJ said...

I was hooked the moment I read "1 cup of butter." Thanks for sharing this recipe Mama Pea. I'm going to try it.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Ruthie - Don't forget the one cup butter is divided among three fruitcakes. Heck, that's not much per cake at all! :o) And, you're very welcome.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Got it! Bookmarked and all! I can't wait to make it! Don't know why so many people are afraid of it though...must only ever of had that stuff the kids sell at school.