Mom’s Fruit Cake

The beginning of December meant the beginning of the candy making/baking season for my mom. The first item she usually made was fruit cake (aka. fruitcake)…so it would be ready to eat by Christmas.

Fruit Cake CU

Baking fruit cake for Christmas was a family tradition that both she and her oldest sister continued; however, there was one notable difference between them…the use of alcohol on the “maturing” cake. My mom was a strict “teetotaler,” and her sister liked her cakes soaked in brandy or bourbon (she also made awesome bourbon balls). In fact, my aunt was so proud of one of the last (if not the last) fruitcakes she made because the cake had been so well imbibed with bourbon. As she opened the tin containing the cake, the smell of the alcohol singed my nose hairs in the next room. After just one bite, I was confident that the fruit had had been so well imbibed with bourbon that it was at its saturation point :). Several years later, after my mom told the doctors that she had never had drink of alcohol in her life, I joked with her that “drink” was the operative word and reminded her about Aunt Dot’s cake.

To be quite honest, fruit cake was not a childhood favorite of mine. However, I must say that I liked my mom’s a lot better than the store bought favorite of a great aunt. By the time I was a teenager, I started to really like mom’s fruit cake. Today, it is a memory-filled Christmas tradition that I decided to start again.

Fruit Cake Whole

Fruit cakes have a bad reputation of being heavy and tasting awful. Well, this fruit cake is heavy (the one pictured weighs approx. 6 lbs.), but it tastes great.

I think the recipe originally may have called for citron, but my mom did not like its flavor and omitted it. The recipe also calls for 3 slices of candied pineapple. Sliced candied pineapple is not as easy to find as the pineapple wedges. The equivalent is approximately 1/2 lb. of pineapple wedges or even mixed candied fruit will do as well.

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