Most people either like fruitcake or make a face and say how much they hate it. I make the kind that most people like. Steve is also very involved in this process. He helped me do the shopping, the food prep, and the mixing.
I use the recipe I got from Aunt Mable. I have had it for over 50 years. I call it my “Fruit Cake” recipe, but she was very specific that it was her “Apple Cake” recipe.
Using an old recipe can be tricky. We learned quite a bit in the process. Some things were confusing. We bought “unsulfured” Molasses.
Until now, I had no idea there was a difference in Molasses. If you want to know more, here is a link that Steve found that will tell you all about the difference.
And I just learned that elephants love molasses. It says so right on the label.
We went to three stores to find sticky raisins. Steve and I are both old enough to remember sticky raisins so we know what they are, BUT they are no longer sold.
Steve found another valuable link that explains how sticky raisins used to be made. By reading the material, you can understand why they are no longer made.
While writing this, Steve was busy at his computer. I am so excited. Steve just found a number to call the market department of Sunmaid.com and ordered us some Muscat Raisins. We will make another batch of fruit cake to test the Sticky Raisins. To order simply call 800-786-6243 and ask for the market department.
For this cake, we used regular Sunmaid raisins. It is amazing how much one can learn from a package these days. If you have an iPad, an iPhone or a computer, you can learn about Sun-Maid’s “century of experience.” Free!
The next challenge was to buy the fruit. Thankfully I knew that the recipe was referring to candied fruit. There is no measurement of how much fruit to buy. The recipe just says “Fruit: (usually one package).” If the recipe says “usually one package that could mean that sometimes, one could use more than one package. If I bought the big package, I reasoned would be all set. Hmm… we bought the big one and are hoping for the best. It contains two pounds of fruit.
If you bake a lot, you probably have already encountered these marvelous little one cup containers of shortening. Yes, they cost a little more, but the convenience is well worth it to me for this once a year adventure. The one cup measure was great, but look, even more minute measurements are on the side. It is times like this that I wonder what my mother would make of all this if she were here. She passed away over fifty years ago.
Normally we hurry through life and never stop to read the added information on items we use every day. But this is a special shopping day because this fruitcake is being made for a very special person.
Who knew that common baking soda now offers 30 FREE Recipes from Martha Stewart Living. Yeah me! Such a deal.
We were on the home stretch. We bought disposable bread pans. Once again we had to experiment. The recipe says: “makes three breads dependent on size.” OK, how big are the breads? We bought some medium and mini size disposable pans and decided to punt.
The last item on our search was cheese cloth. It is not an easy item to find. Tired and worn out from searching through four food stores, we were ready to go home. The happy young lady at the checkout asked, “Did you find everything OK?” When we replied that we could not find the cheese cloth, she instantly replied that it was in aisle 4 on the right. Yahoo! Our list was complete. Steve and I were ready to cook – tomorrow.
After the cakes are baked, we will wrap them in cheese cloth and apply brandy until Christmas time, when they should be perfect.
Do you make fruitcake?
Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try
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By special request – The recipe is as follows:
Fruitcake – Diane Brogan
3 cups apples – cut in cubes
1 ½ cups molasses (12 oz)
½ cup water
Put on to boil – stir constantly – (don’t cook like applesauce)
2 cups of Muscat raisins – the sticky ones
3 ½ cups of candied fruit
8 oz of chopped dates
Put fruit in boiled mixture as first ingredients come from stove. Let cool.
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup melted shortening
1 cup sour milk
2 tsp soda
2 tsp salt – 1 use 1 tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup walnuts
4 ½ cups flour
Mix all together and place in bread pans.
Batch makes 4 medium breads 3.75 x 2.5 x 8 plus 2 mini 3.5 x 2 x 5.75
8 mini and 2 large
Cook the mini loaves for 1 hour at 350 degrees
Cook the medium loaves for 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees
When cool, wrap in cheese cloth and drizzle with brandy. Wrap in aluminum foil. Keep the cheese cloth damp (about one tablespoon weekly for 6 weeks.) Store in refrigerator. Keeps up to 6 months.