Ah, the fruitcake – that mythical dessert that has somehow managed to become the punchline of holiday jokes, passed around like a hot potato at gift exchanges. But let's pause for a moment and reconsider the humble fruitcake, for it carries within its layers a history as rich as its flavors, and a legacy that spans ancient civilizations and royal feasts. Contrary to the dubious reputation it has acquired, the fruitcake deserves a spot of honor at our festive tables.
With origins reaching back to times when preserving fruits was more necessity than indulgence, the fruitcake has undergone a transformation that echoes the evolution of civilizations. It's a dessert that has traveled through time, absorbing the essence of different cultures and eras, much like a sponge soaks up flavors. So, why not take a moment to peel back the layers of misconception and dive into a recipe that does justice to the noble fruitcake? After all, it's about time we give this enduring treat the standing ovation it truly deserves.
Elf Squad Fruitcake Ingredients
- 1 pound pitted dates
- 1 pound candied pineapple
- 1/2 pound dried apricots or cranberries
- ½ pound raisins
- 1 cup candied orange peel
- 2 cups sifted flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups each walnuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, or hazelnuts
- 2 tsp almond extract or vanilla
- Brandy, rum, bourbon or simple syrup
Ingredient Note: You can experiment with the array of fruit and nuts, but be sure to choose high-quality dried and preserved fruit, preferably not from the supermarket. It’s a surprisingly expensive confection, which explains why it’s traditionally been saved for special occasions.
Elf Squad Fruitcake Equipment
- Two nine-inch buttered cake pans, lined with parchment then buttered again.
- Two mixing bowls
- Mixing spoons
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Parchment paper
How To Make Elf Squad Fruitcake
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Chop all the dried fruit and put in a mixing bowl.
- Sift the flour and baking powder.
- Sprinkle over the fruit; then toss it all together using a spoon or your (extremely clean) hands.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. When they froth, add the sugar and almond or vanilla extract.
- Pour the mixture over the fruit. Add in the nuts and stir until they’re mixed into the batter.
- Divide the mixture between the two pans. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours. The tops should not be brown.
- Cool on a rack for five minutes. Remove from pan.
- Let the fruitcakes cool for half an hour, then sprinkle with the liquor or simple syrup you are using.
- Remove from pans and peel away parchment if need be.
- To store: Wrap them in plastic wrap—they’ll keep for about two months in the refrigerator. Brush more liquor or syrup on the tops before serving.
- Eat and share your festive fruitcake!
A Note About Traditional Fruitcake
Crafting a traditional fruitcake is an endeavor that embraces the essence of patience and anticipation. Unlike the swift creations of modern baking, the art of making a classic fruitcake demands time, allowing the flavors to meld and mature. From the meticulous process of soaking the fruits in rich, spirited elixirs to the slow baking that coaxes out the complexities of the ingredients, traditional fruitcakes require weeks, if not months, of careful attention. This prolonged preparation is not just a nod to the past but a deliberate act that pays homage to the history and legacy embedded within each slice. Just as time has woven the threads of history into the fabric of these cakes, so too does the wait infuse them with a depth of flavor and nostalgia that simply cannot be rushed. If you have the luxury of time, feel free to start this recipe in October and brush the cake with liquor every few days to enhance the flavor and help preserve your holiday masterpiece!
Be sure to check out some other holiday favorite recipes straight from The Elf Squad Kitchen!
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