For years, I’ve heard jokes about bad fruit cake being better suited for a door stop than a snack, but I refused to believe that they have always been as bad as all that.
Started research on “old fashioned fruit cakes” that take a long time to make because all the ingredients are fresh and processed in the kitchen rather than emptied out of a plastic or steel can.
After reading many sites about various ingredients that typically goes into fruit cake, I put together a receipe of my own.
2 lbs. of fresh cherries, stems and pits removed and halved
- Bring 2 C of white sugar, 1/2 C of water and 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice to a slow boil and add the cherries. Cook for 20 min. then put lit on the pan and let set and cool for 24 hours (don’t cheat on the time)
- After 24 hours, remove the cherries, letting most of the very thick cherry/lemon syrup drip back into the pan, add 1C of fresh Apple Juice and bring to a boil. Add cherries back, use a candy thermometer and bring to 225°F (107° C), let cool. Remove cherries from syrup and store in an air tight container
2 whole pineapples, skined, cored. Slice one into rings and one into cubes.
- Bring 2C of sugar and 4Cup of water to a boil, add pineapple and boil slowly for 1/2 hour or until pineapples begin to turn transparent.
- Lay pineapple rings and cubes on a wire cookie rack with plates or a cookie sheet underneath. Sprinkle heavily with sugar and let sit for 4 hours. Turn pineapple slices/cubes over and sprinkle heavily with sugar again. Place in air tight container, sprinkle heavily with sugar and seal the container until ready for use.
Candied Orange Peel
3 Naval Oranges – Use a paring knife, zester or vegetable pealer and take the outer skin off the oranges without cutting deep enough to reach the core of the orange.
- Bring 2 C of water to a boil (nothing else at this point) and add the orange peels. Cook for 5 min. Pour into a strainer, disposing of the water, rince pan. Repeat process a total of three times. Makes the peels soft and removes some of the tartness.
- Bring 2 C of water, 1 C of white sugar to a boil, added softened orange peels and boil on low for 20 min. Let cool. Store orange peels and syrup together in an airtight container until ready for use.
Sometimes Walmart will carry fresh dates. Best resourse is a Mediterranean deli/resturant. Dice up 3 to 4 Cups of dates into small cubes
It’s the one ingredient I didn’t make from scratch. 1 lb. of Sunkist Raisins did fine. 🙂
1 Cup (or more as you like) of walnut pieces and around 8 oz. of pecan halves. You’ll use about 4 oz. for garnish and 4 oz. chopped and added to the mix
Mix all the fruit ingredients (leaving out the pecans and walnuts for now) in a large pot.
- 3 Cup of white flour
- 1/2 Tea. of Cinnamon
- 1/4 Tea. of Allspice
- 1/4 Tea. of Cloves
- 1/4 Tea. of Nutmeg
- Sift together in a bowl and set aside
- 2 Cups of softened Butter (4 sticks)
- 4 Cups Brown Sugar
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 Cup of milk
- Dry mix listed above
Mix softened butter and brown sugar together for several minutes, on medium speed, until mixture turns a very light brown. Add one egg at a time, about every two min. Set mixer to slow speed and add about a third of the dry mix, then 1/4 cup of milk, alternating until all the mix and the total 3/4 C of milk is added. Mix in medium for about three min.
Pour the batter into the fruit mix bowl, add walnuts and pecans and mix throughly by hand.
Use 3 10in. cake pans. Cover the bottom of each pan with parchment paper. I used three inch cooking rings (used to make english muffins) in the center to make the “hole” to help with baking. You can use a bunt style pan or angle food cake pan (though you can’t decorate the “top” of the cake if they around rounded. Fruit Cake mixture until the pans are 2/3 full (I made a mistake and filled them to the top…now I get to clean the oven…lol) Decorate the top using the candied cherries, candied pineapple and pecan halves.
Preheat oven to 280 and bake the cakes for 5-6 hours. Test with a toothpick starting at the 4th hour. Once it comes out clean, it is finished.
Wrap in cheese cloth or parchment paper and store the cakes store in a tin or air tight container.