Look, I know right away this blog post will be controversial. First, who really likes fruitcake? It's a joke, right? But someone must keep eating it, because you can still buy it. Well, I like it, and for a very specific reason. So here is my fruitcake story:
Once, long ago, someone I loved dearly did something really horrible to me. And when he came to ask forgiveness, he brought some fruitcake he had made himself (don't laugh! I know it sounds cruel, but it has a happy ending!). I had never really tried fruitcake before, and when I tried it, not only did I love it, but I could also taste his sorrow and regret. It was sweet and spicy and fruity and rich. So now, whenever I taste fruitcake, I taste forgiveness.
But I don't drink anymore, remember? And most fruitcakes and recipes are soaked in some kind of liquor. So I invented this recipe, and I must say, even people who don't care for fruitcake like this. I make it in a mini-muffin tin, so it's not a 10-pound loaf that feels intimidating. You can just pop one of these in your mouth and get a burst of flavor... and a taste of forgiveness.
- 2 sticks softened butter
- 2 cups candied cherries
- 2 cups candied pineapple
- 2 cups candied citrus peel
- 2 cups pecans, chopped up
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons lemon extract
- 1 handful golden raisins
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- Use some of the butter to grease a mini-muffin pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Toss fruits and nuts together in a bowl.
- Mix softened (but not melted) butter and sugar together. Add eggs, lemon extract, and salt and mix some more.
- Add the flour and mix some more.
- Now add the fruit and nuts to the other stuff and mix everything together.
- Fill the muffin tins and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
Note: This can be baked in a traditional loaf too!
They say that reformed rakes make the best husbands. Well, a reformed fruitcake makes the best holiday dessert. And my old friend who brought me my first taste? I forgave him... but I'm still waiting for him to send me his recipe!
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For more from Maria Rodale go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.