Everybody has their favorite holiday treats and everybody has their least favorite. Growing up I was not a fan of the Krumkake or the Russian Tea cakes. Now that I am older I really enjoy both of them, I think the cardamom in the krumkake is an acquired taste and can be offensive to young taste buds. There is one holiday treat that always seems to be a hot topic every year. The Fruit Cake, many love it and still many more, hate it. Fruit Cake is often the butt of the joke and most turn up their nose at the mention of it.
I have never had a fruit cake, I have always heard about them growing up and whenever one would show up in our house it was disposed of properly or would sit out until it was inedible. I can never remember any of them ever being eaten by anyone. I think after hearing so many negative things for so long I began to not like fruit cake even though I had never eaten one. This year I decided to change that.
I have always enjoyed a challenge and have always said that anything can be tasty, you just have to cook it right. I started researching fruit cakes and looking at every recipe I could find. I found fairly simple no bake versions and versions that were so complex it took the better part of a week to make them. There were versions that were soaked in alcohol and versions without any alcohol. Every different combination of fruits and nuts you could imagine. I decided to make my fruit cake with green and red candied cherries, candied citrus, candied ginger and pecans.
While I was reading about fruit cakes I came across stories of fruit cakes that have been passed down in family's for generations. I am not talking about recipes that are passed down I am talking about actual fruit cakes that have lasted for 50-60 years. There was one story about a fruit cake that was 125 years old and every year the family cuts off a sliver and eats it. I am not sure I would want to eat anything that old, but alcohol and sugar are pretty good at preserving things and some of the fruit cake recipes I came across were almost all sugar and alcohol so maybe I would.
My fruit cake probably wouldn't last that long and this one only lasted a few hours. I took it to work and the people there ate it all and in true Midwest fashion, nobody wanted to eat the last piece so they just kept cutting it in half until there was almost nothing left to cut in half. Here is my fruit cake recipe I hope you give it a try.
Jamie's Fruit Cake
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups flower
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 cups chopped candied fruit ( ginger, pineapple, citron, and cherries)
1 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup Glug
1 cup pecan halves
1. Pour the Glug over the candied fruit and the raisins and let soak for 24 hours.
2. cream together the butter and the sugar then stir in the eggs one at a time.
3. mix in the vanilla and the almond extract and the sour cream
4. add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth
5. add the fruit and raisins and the chocolate chips and pour into cake pan
6. arrange pecans on top of the batter
7. bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours or until a tooth pick stuck in the middle comes out clean.