Every year, my grandma must buy out the entire candied fruit section of her local grocery store. She spends day after day in the kitchen, baking her famous fruitcakes. By the time Christmas rolls around, she has made enough to build an entire two-story house! Well, not really, but all of her family, friends, neighbors, and exercise ladies receive a loaf or two.
Grandma baked a special batch for my parents: she left out the walnuts for my allergic mother. Not wanting to steal her thunder (or overload my family with fruitcakes), I waited until after New Year’s to try my hand at one. I opted for a slightly more natural fruit—raisins instead of iridescent green wedges—and left out the brandy for the minors in the group. But the fruitcake I produced was still really moist and bursting with flavor.
So look out Grandma, or I just might take over your fruitcake business next year!
Almost Traditional Fruitcake
based on CL’s Real Old-Fashioned Fruitcake
Use your favorite dried fruit for a personal touch. I made my non-alcoholic, so even the kids can enjoy this one!
2 tsp flour
1 c. regular raisins
1 c. white raisins
1 c. craisins
½ c. diced candied citron
2 tbsp flour
¾ c. flour
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
6 tbsp butter
½ c. granulated sugar
2 tbsp molasses
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- Preheat the oven to 250°. Place a 13×9” baking pan on the bottom rack of the oven, and add 5 c. water.
- Lightly coat an 8×4” (or 9×5”) loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Flour the pan with the 2 tsp flour, and set aside.
- Combine the dried fruit (raisins through citron) and 2 tbsp flour in a medium bowl, stirring to coat. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the ¾ c. flour through baking soda.
- In a medium pot on the stove, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the sugar. Add the molasses, eggs, and applesauce, stirring well. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture, stirring until incorporated. Gradually fold in the fruit mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake at 250° for 2 hr. Remove the 13×9” baking pan, and continue to bake another 30 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 1 hr before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap the cake first in plastic wrap, then in foil, and chill for 24 hours before serving.