I have always loved homemade fruitcake, despite all of the references to fruitcake only being good for door stops and so on. Well, thanks to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge having it at their wedding, fruitcake is making a comeback. Apparently gourmet bakeries are getting on the fruitcake bandwagon. Their versions are made with exotic fruits.
The humble version, however, is still my favorite. I found this non-alcoholic recipe clipping in my grandmother’s recipe box. She wrote “Used in 1972, very good” on it. She was right. Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list. This bread goes together very quickly.
You’re supposed to store fruitcake for several weeks to let the flavors mellow. It doesn’t happen in the McFann house. We eat it right away and it is still very good.
- 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup softened butter
- 1 pound package of dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 5 medium)
- 3 cups chopped mixed candied fruits
- 1 package (8 ounces) pitted dates, cut up
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Heat oven to 300ºF. Grease a bundt cake pan and set aside.
- Sift the 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
- Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in the orange peel, juice, and vanilla.
- Beat the bananas and flour into the creamed mixture alternately.
- Mix the candied fruit, dates, and the 1 Tablespoon of flour together. This is prevent the fruit and dates from sticking together.
- Add the candied fruit mixture and walnuts to the batter. Stir well.
- Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 2 hours or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire wrack for about 15 minutes.
- Invert the pan onto a cake plate and allow to cool for about 5 minutes longer before removing the pan.
- Cool completely.
- Store for several weeks to allow the flavors to mellow.
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