Wil Day, a digital distribution content producer, shares his late grandmother’s fruitcake recipe.
“Below is my late Grandmother Day’s recipe for fruitcake. I say it is hers, but like most grandmas, these recipes likely came from places like Betty Crocker, any number of women’s magazines, or the Fanny Farmer’s Cookbook,” says Wil. “Sure, every Grandma tweaked it in their own way, a little bit more or less of this or that, but as the old saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun. If you try the recipe, let me know how it goes: email@example.com.”
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2/3 cup of Sherry or Brandy (do not use cooking sherry or brandy)
- 2 cups light raisins
- 2 cups muscat raisins
- 2 cups currants
- 8 oz. dried candied orange peel
- 8 oz dried candied citron peel
- 1 cup pitted dates (pre-chopped)
- 1 cup dried prunes
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 8 oz diced candied lemon peel
- 16 oz diced candied pineapple
- 8 oz candied cherries halved red & green
- 2 c coarsely chopped pecans
- 2 cups soft butter
- 2 1/2 cups light brown sugar firmly packed
- 8 eggs
- 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 allspice
- 1tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking soda
Prepare one 10-inch tube or four small baking loaf pans, grease, line with heavy brown wrapping paper (butcher’s paper or thick parchment), grease lightly again, and set aside.
Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and baking soda and set aside.
In a saucepan, add prunes, dates, and apricots, cover with water, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes covered. Drain and cool; chop fine. Add them back to the saucepan along with the honey and Sherry or Brandy, bring to a boil, and then immediately remove from the heat, cover and let cool. Set aside.
In a very large bowl, combine the raisins, currants, pineapple, candied peels, cherries, and pecans and set aside. Preheat oven to 275°F.
Cream the butter until light, add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. At a low speed, gradually spoon in the flour mixture until combined.
Add the batter, along with the prune, date, and apricot mixture to the fruit and nuts. Mix until everything is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Spoon into baking pans, and then transfer pans to the oven, baking at 275°F for four hours until a toothpick test comes out clean.
Just prior to removing them from the oven, soak large pieces of cheesecloth in Brandy or Sherry. Allow the fruitcakes to cool and remove them from the pans and peel off the paper. Wrap completely in the soaked cheesecloths and store them in airtight containers. Every five days, wet the cheesecloth with the Sherry or Brandy. When ready to serve, decorate with any leftover dried fruits and nuts.
As long as it is kept in a cool environment in an airtight container, and you wet the cheesecloth with Brandy or Sherry every five days, it should keep up to two months.