Here are the fruitcake recipes from the December issue of Packet Magazine. For some reason, the text of my article went online without the two recipes that accompanied it in the print edition.
The recipes here are baked in large round pans, but you could substitute loaf pans instead. You could also make small loaves, as I did for the Golden Fruitcake in the photos, or even muffins (but if you make those, they will take much less time to bake, so start testing them early). Also, a shopping tip – candied rinds and other fruits are very inexpensive at the Amish Market in Kingston. They even had citron, so I snuck a little in my second batch of the Golden Fruitcake pictured here.
Adapted from “Canal House Cooking Vol. No. 2,” Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirsheimer (2009)
Expanded Note: In my original article I stated that if you are making mini-loaves or muffins, you could put the water bath in a separate pan on a rack just below your pans or muffin tins, rather than put the pans/tins directly into the bath. If you used paper baking pans for giving away, of course you’d have to do it that way.
I have since made two batches of this fruitcake (yes, I loved it that much), and used metal mini loaf tins. For the first batch I put the water bath on the rack below. For the 2nd batch, I put little metal loaf pans directly in the water bath. The second batch did rise more and, while it fell some as it cooled, I do think the overall texture is lighter and moister. But both were delicious, as is anything I make from Canal House Cooking!
I love the paleness of this fruitcake, and the bright citrus flavors. It looks a little “naked” in the photo but in person, the mosaic of the mixed fruits are prettier than it looks here. And it is scrumptious!! If it lasts long enough, by all means “anoint” it nightly with a little brandy or Cognac. Mine was consumed or given away before I had a chance to do much of that.
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, toasted
3/4 cup candied lemon peel, minced
3/4 cup candied orange peel, minced
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried apricots, minced
1 cup candied ginger, minced
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated on the large holes of a box grater
1 cup orange liqueur
1/2 pound (2 sticks) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup dried fine white bread crumbs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Cognac or brandy
Combine almonds, candied peels, raisins, apricots, ginger, apple and orange liqueur in a bowl. Set aside. Let macerate at room temperature overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two fluted 4-cup tube pans with 2 tablespoons of the butter and set aside.
Sift or whisk the flour, baking soda, mace, salt and cloves together in another mixing bowl. Stir in the bread crumbs and set aside.
Beat 2 sticks (16 Tbs.) of the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, gradually adding the sugar and beating until the butter is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until well combined. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the macerated fruit and liquid.
Divide batter between the prepared pans. Grease 2 sheets of foil with remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then cover the tube pans with the foil. Set the tube pans into a deep roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come one-third up the sides of tube pans. Bake fruitcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Unmold the warm cakes onto a rack. They are ready to serve. If you like them a little boozy, sprinkle them with a little Cognac each day for a week. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Unwrap them each day to give them a little drink.
Incredibly Easy Chocolate Fruitcake
Adapted from “Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities,” Nigella Lawson, Hyperion (2009)
12 1/4 ounces dried soft prunes, chopped
8 3/4 ounces raisins
4 1/2 ounces currants
6 1/4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
6 1/4 dark muscovado sugar
6 1/4 fluid ounces honey
4 1/2 fluid ounces coffee liqueur
2 oranges, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon mixed apple or pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons good quality cocoa
3 eggs, beaten
5 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour
2 1/2 ounces ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For decoration (optional):
1-ounce dark chocolate-covered coffee beans
Gold mini balls
About 10 edible gold stars
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Line the sides and bottom of an 8 by 3 1/2-inch deep, round loose-bottomed cake tin with a layer of reusable silicon baking parchment. When lining the tin with the parchment, cut the material into strips that are twice as high as the tin itself (it is easier to use two shorter strips of parchment, than one long strip); the height of the strips protects the cake from catching on the outside of the cake tin.
Place the fruit, butter, sugar, honey, coffee liqueur, orange zest and juice, mixed spice and cocoa into a large wide saucepan. Heat the mixture until it reaches a gentle boil, stirring the mixture as the butter melts. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the mixture will have cooled a little. Add the eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and baking soda, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients have combined.
Carefully pour the fruitcake mixture into the lined cake tin. Transfer the cake tin to the oven and bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, or until the top of the cake is firm but has a shiny and sticky look. At this point, if you insert a sharp knife into the middle of the cake, the cake should still be a little uncooked in the middle.
Place the cake on a cooling rack. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin.
To decorate, if desired, place the chocolate-covered coffee beans in the center of the cake and arrange the gold stars around the perimeter of the top of the cake. Then sprinkle some gold mini-balls over the whole cake and sprinkle the top with edible glitter.