I have a confession. I love fruitcake. Love it! Well, I loved my grandmother’s fruitcake. And dribble a little rum on it…even better. My grandmother was a teetotaler 99% of the year, but she liked a little rum on her fruitcake, brandy in her Christmas coffee, and champagne for New Year’s. Don’t know why…never asked.
I have another confession. I haven’t eaten a bite of fruitcake since Gran died. Probably never will. Thought about using her recipe to make it, but just didn’t have the heart since I knew it would not be the same without her.
Fruitcake is often the subject of family jokes and great fodder for late night television hosts. There was a joke going around for a while about there really being only one fruitcake in the world and everyone just passes it on to the next unlucky recipient. Shame on you! I couldn’t wait each year for my grandmother to make fruitcakes! She often baked as many as ten and gave them as gifts. I knew people who actually asked for a second one! I don’t know if she had the best recipe, or she added something magical. (The rum never got dribbled on a gift cake.)
Here is her recipe that I’ve had in my recipe box for over twenty-five years. I’ll let you decide if you want to try it. (Perhaps it wasn’t by accident that it was filed in “misc. sweets”, not “cakes”.)
2 ½ cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 jar (28oz.) None Such Mince Meat
1 1/3 cups (15oz. can) Borden’s Eagle Brand Sweetened condensed Milk
2 cups (1 lb. jar) mixed candied fruit
1 cup walnut meats, coarsely chopped
Butter 9-inch tube pan or spring form. Line with waxed paper. Butter again. Sift flour and baking soda. Combine eggs, mince meat, condensed milk, fruit and nuts. Fold in dry ingredients. Pour into pan. Bake in slow (300) oven 2 hours, until center springs back, and top is golden. Cool. Turn out; remove paper.