The Best Fruitcake Ever

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Fruitcake…so many jokes, so little time.

It’s one of those nostalgic hostess gifts that everyone hopes they don’t receive…again this year.

If you are among the masses that could easily live the rest of your days without seeing another fruitcake, I don’t blame you. Dry, crumbly, plastic tasting candied fruit, laced with cheap alcohol…sign me up for a taste of that. Not.

However, before you sign off on fruitcake forever, promise me this: that you will give it one more try. And try this recipe. You will not regret it. More than any Christmas cookie my holiday season would not be complete without a few slices of this fruitcake. The recipe come straight from my amazing Momma, and while I did make a few small changes, it mirrors the original quite nicely.

THE BEST FRUITCAKE EVER

5 oz. butter, soft
3 oz. coconut oil, soft
1/2 c. sucanat
1/2 c honey
1.5 lb apricots
.75lb dates
.5 lb golden raisins
.75 lb pecans, chopped

5 eggs
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c almond flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 t cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t allspice
1/4 c almond milk

Glaze:
1/2 c brandy
1/4 c Gran Marnier
1/2 c apricot nectar

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter, soft coconut oil, sucanat, and honey. Add the eggs one at a time and beat the mixture well after each addition.

20131221-094842.jpgDoesn’t that honey look amazing? Raw, local, honey from Durango, Mexico. Love.20131221-094915.jpgI know that looks like more than 5 oz. of butter, but it’s not. The sticks of butter here in Mexico are much smaller than the stuff in the states. I assure you I weighed each ingredient just to be sure.

In a medium bowl sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, allspice, and cinnamon.20131221-094902.jpgFold HALF of the flour mixture into the butter and sugar and mix well.

Chop all the dried fruit and nuts ,and toss with the remaining flour mixture.20131221-094931.jpgAdd the dried fruit mixture and almond milk to the batter and stir to blend.

Pour the mixture into lightly greased loaf pans, fill them, but not all the way as the mixture will overflow in the oven if too full.20131221-094947.jpgYou can use regular size loaf pans, or mini loaf pans, both work well. I wanted smaller loaves, but didn’t have mini loaf pans so I made one larger loaf, and then filled 3 small ramekins, and two larger heart shaped ramekins. Random, I know, but festive. šŸ™‚

Bake the loaves in a very slow 250 degree oven for 3 hours.
TIP: This baking time is for sea level…I live at 4,800 feet elevation and my small fruitcakes took about 1 hour to cook and the larger loaf about 1.25 hours.

Cool the loaves on a cooling rack.

Before removing the loaves from their pans sprinkle with a mixture of 1/2 c brandy,1/4 c orange liquor, and 1/2 c apricot nectar.20131221-095002.jpg

imageWrap well. Refrigerate for 2-4 weeks before eating. These also freeze very well.image

**Tips: If I plan to freeze a few of the loaves I will wrap them well in heavy duty plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil, and then put the loaves into individual ziploc freezer bags.
** Made as mini loaves these fruit cakes make fabulous gifts. Wrap the loaves in parchment paper and put it together with a festive cloth ribbon.
** These fruit cakes are truly best eaten after several weeks in the fridge, but if your schedule doesn’t allow for that much ahead of time baking…eat them when you like. And like a good woman, they only get better with age. šŸ™‚

Happy Holidays!

Liesl

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