Christmas is just around the corner, and one of the things that remind me of Christmas is fruitcake. Fruitcake has a shelf-life of at least 6 months (can even last ’till next Christmas!) if kept in refrigerator. It can also be an ideal gift for anybody on any occasion.
Fruitcakes have been making the rounds for centuries. In general, fruitcakes can include any and all of the following: candied fruit, dried fruit, fruit rind, nuts, spices and some sort of liquor or brandy. The ratio of fruit and nuts to batter is fairly high, with just enough cake batter to hold it all together. This naturally results in a very dense, moist, heavy cake, no doubt giving rise to the doorstop reference.
There are two basic types:
- Light Fruitcake – This type is made with light-colored ingredients such as granulated sugar, light corn syrup, almonds, golden raisins, pineapple, apricots and the like.
- Dark Fruitcake – Darker ingredients are used such as molasses, brown sugar, and darker-colored fruits like raisins, prunes, dates, cherries, pecans and walnuts.
After being slowly baked, the finished fruitcakes get their preservative treatment. Cheesecloth is soaked in brandy, bourbon, whiskey, rum or other liquor and then wrapped around the cooled fruitcake. The whole shebang is then wrapped in foil to ripen and age.
Fruitcakes soaked in liquor can literally last for years if you periodically add more liquor. Some fruitcake fans won’t even touch a fruitcake until it has aged at least three years, although it’s generally recommended that soaked fruitcakes be consumed within two years. Fruitcake should be tightly wrapped and stored in the refrigerator. Unwrap every few months and drizzle with liquor. Re-wrap tightly. Interestingly enough, although fruitcake can be frozen, its life is shorter than if refrigerated, only one year.
Ingredients (Servings: 36):
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped dried cherries
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped dried mango
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped candied citron
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1-1/2 cups light rum
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- 3 egg
- 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
- 1-1/2 cups butter
- Soak dried fruit in 1/4 cup rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter and line with parchment paper a 6 inch round pan.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour in three batches, alternating with the milk and molasses. Stir in the fruit/ rum mixture and nuts.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.
- Place a piece of parchment paper, large enough to wrap entire cake, on a flat surface. Moisten a piece of cheesecloth, large enough to wrap the cake, with 1 tablespoon rum. Place the cheesecloth on top of the parchment paper, and unmold the cake on top of it. Sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with the remaining rum. Wrap the cake, pressing the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake. Place the cake in an airtight tin, and let age for at least 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.
Fruitcake tips and cooking hints:
- Line cake pans with greased foil to prevent over-browning, being sure to leave a generous amount of foil overhanging the sides of the pan to act as handles to lift the cake from the pan when it’s done.
- Fill pans no more than two-thirds full.
- Placing pans in a tray half-filled with hot water will also help prevent over-browning during the long, slow cooking period.
- Before removing the cake from the pan to cool, let it rest about 10 minutes in the pan.
- The standard cake testing method applies to fruitcakes: a wooden skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.
- For easy slicing, the cake should be cold. Use a thin knife.
- For liquor-soaked cakes, refrigerate at least three weeks before eating to let it ripen.
- Substitute plain dried fruit for candied fruit if you wish.
- Fruit juice can be substituted for liquor as a soaking liquid. Be sure to refrigerate and consume within two months.
The LEGEND VILLAS FILIPINO FRUITCAKE Recipe
- 300 gms assorted dried local fruits
- 100 gms glazed fruit mix
- 100 gms raisins
- 80 gms glazed kaong
- 50 gms orange peel
- 1 c rum (used for fruit soaking)
- 50 gms cashew nuts / Pili nuts
- 1/2 c dayap rind
- 180 gms all-purpose flour
- 2 t cinnamon
- 150 gms butter
- 120 gms brown sugar
- 3 pcs whole eggs
- 1 jigger rum (for brushing)
Combine glazed fruits, dried fruits, raisins, kaong and peel. Soak the fruits in rum for one week. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly on a medium speed beat. Sieve the flour and spices together. Add the flour gradually on a low speed.
After one week, drain the fruits and dust with a little flour. Add this to the flour mixture. Give the mixture a final turn with clean hands to mix thoroughly. Transfer mixture into two lined baked pans. When desired weight is required, weigh accordingly and place mixture in the right baking pan. Bake in 300° F oven for two hours. Brush cake with one jigger of rum. Wrap in foil and let age for one week before consuming.
More Fruitcake Recipes at:
source: www.homecooking.about.com, www.malaya.com.ph
[This is a re-post]