The fruit cake is as much a part of the Christmas season as other traditional symbols like the Christmas tree, poinsettias, and mistletoe. Rumor has it that the fruit cake is never eaten but regifted each year. I have been making my own fruit cake for the past several years and rest assured it does not last through New Year’s Day although it is never offered to the kids. In fact, this loaf is almost half gone! And yes, there is booze in the cake.
I look forward to making this cake each year, normally two to three weeks before Christmas. It is then allowed to age in the fridge and brushed with brandy each week. This not only makes the cake very moist but also incredibly tasty…hic! Once you have tasted homemade fruit cake, you will never again eat store bought ones.
This recipe was adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook on Cakes & Slices.
- 1 cup (160g) raisins
- 1 cup (200g) dates, chopped
- ½ cup (100g) apricots, chopped
- ½ cup (100g) prunes, chopped
- ½ cup (120ml) brandy
- ½ cup (120ml) sherry
- 1½ (225g) cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp allspice
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 stick (½ cup/115g) butter
- ¼ cup (45g) brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup plum jam
- ¼ cup (60ml) warm water
- 1 cup (180g) red glazed cherries
- 1 cup (100g) chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp dried Clementine peel
Combine raisins, dates, apricots, and prunes in a medium sized bowl. Pour in brandy and sherry, cover, and leave overnight at room temperature.
Grease a 9”x5” loaf pan and line with 2 layers of parchment paper. Drain soaked fruits, reserving the liquid. Sift flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and baking powder into a bowl. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture, plum jam, and water. Beat on low speed until just combined. Stir in soaked fruits, cherries, walnuts, and orange peel.
Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake in oven for about 2 hours. Test with a wooden pick. Cake is done if pick comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool in the pan. When cooled, remove cake from pan. Peel off parchment paper.
Brush reserved liquid all over the cake.
Wrap with parchment paper followed by aluminum foil. Seal cake in food storage bag and allow cake to age in the fridge for 2 weeks. Brush cake once a week (for 2 more times) with brandy and reseal.
Finish cake within a month or freeze for up to three months.
And now to share with you some pictures of the storm that hit us this past weekend. I think we had about 17 inches of snow. The snow drifts were about 2 to 3 feet high. Our single stage snow thrower could not handle the job and so we had to shovel instead. It was back breaking and bitterly cold. The windchill brought the temperatures down to between -15°F to -30°F on Sunday.
This is the view from our front porch. Standing at the front door, the street is obscured from view because of the mountain of snow plowed onto the yard by the city snow plows. You can compare the snow pictures taken last February in this post. Also check out my winter freezer post.
Look at all that snow piled up on the roof. Down it comes with that 30 feet long roof rake!
Ro-Ri San and Ro-Jiro had to put on snow shoes to get to the front of the house so as not to sink knee deep into the snow. Raking the roof is hard work but necessary to prevent excessive snow from collecting on the roof. It also prevents ice damming at the edge of the roof blocking melting snow from draining off and causing leaks in the ceilings.
Yikes! The inflatable roof of the Metrodome, home of the Minnesota Vikings collapsed Sunday morning after the heavy snowfall. The scheduled game between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants will be played tonight at Detroit instead.
This is our backyard neighbor throwing snow off his skating rink with his 2 stage snow thrower. Even his 2 stage was not able to handle the thick snow close to the edge of the rink. He sets up the rink each year for the past ten years after all the leaves from the trees have fallen. We have the best view of the ice hockey game being played here during the holidays.
Maintaining the rink is hard work as it needs resurfacing every two weeks or so. After throwing off the snow in the morning, he was out there later that day in the bitter cold spraying a layer of water on the surface to get it smooth and ready for the season. Despite the cold, I am sure we’ll see his son out there this evening.
Anyone care for ice skating?
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!