Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nice Christmas Fruitcake

I say 'nice' in the title, as I cannot remember eating a Christmas fruitcake that I really liked when I lived in the UK (and I tried quite a few during my seven years there), but I LOVED this one. I know you're supposed to bake your fruitcake weeks in advance, and let it age and develop in a cool storage before eating it. I baked the one on the photo on Monday, and am dangerously close to having none left by tomorrow evening. That's why bought another several bags of dried fruit today, mixed them with booze. Will be baking another one of this tomorrow, just to make sure I have some to take along to the first of the many Christmas parties this weekend...

The type of dried fruit you use is entirely up to you. I used dried sweetened cherries, seedless raisins, dried apricots and dried pineapple pieces on Monday. At the moment I've got all these plus dried papaya pieces macerating away. As for the booze, anything rum-based will work best, I think. I've used rum-based Blossa glögg, Havana Club rum or even Vana Tallinn rum-based liqueur (those who've been to Estonia know what I'm talking about :)) If you don't like rum, use brandy instead.

English Christmas Fruitcake
Makes one large loaf or two smaller ones

250 g butter, at room temperature
200 g caster sugar (225 ml)
4 large eggs
275 g plain flour (500 ml/2 cups)
2 tsp baking powder
150 ml brandy or rum
600 g of dried fruit of your choice (about 1 litre/4 cups)

Chop the dried fruit into smaller pieces, if necessary, and pour over the brandy or rum. Leave to macerate and soften for at least few hours, preferably overnight.
Cream soft butter and sugar until pale. Whisk in the eggs, one at the time, incorporating each egg before adding the next one.
Mix flour and baking powder, then stir into the egg and butter mixture.
Fold in the dried fruit (plus any booze that's left in the bowl).
Spoon the batter into a buttered large (2-quart) baking tin.
Bake in a preheated 175 C oven for about one hour, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool, then wrap into a parchment paper and foil and leave to age for a few weeks (or a day, if you're like me:))


Anonymous said...

Vana Tallinn dried fruitcake - Pille, you hit this one out of the park! Must try. Have you ever made ice cream with Vana Tallinn? It's simply the best - I did some in summer and served it with fresh berries. Yum.mb

K and S said...

looks delicious! happy holidays!

Pene said...

Looks delicious, Pille.
I recently read in "Kitchen Science" by Howard Hillman that if you coat the fruit with flour before mixing the fruit into the batter, the coating absorbs some of the surface oil & water that exudes from these ingredients during baking & therefore reduces their tendency to slip downward through the batter.
Next time try mixing some of the flour into the fruit before adding to the wet ingredients.

prashant said...

- I did some in summer and served it with fresh berries. Yum.mb

Work from home India

Anonymous said...

Olen ka seda jahus veeretamise varianti proovinud, aga pole kindel, et see aitab.

annie said...

Hello, I've been following your blog for some time, but unfortunately never comment! However, I am interested in converting your recipes to Fahrenheit temperature. Could you help? Many thanks,and happy holidays.

mibistec said...

Wow! I'm doing it now to eat it tomorrow! Because in my house is just impossible to leave something "ageing" when my husband is around! jajajaj
Thanks a lot for the recipe, your blog is absolutelly amazing... as well as you K and Nora.
Cheers from Chile,

Pille said...

MB - I must admit I'm yet to try Vana Tallinn ice cream, though I'm definitely curious!

K & S - thank you!!

Pene - I've heard that as well, but a) it doesn't always work and b) the dried fruit was perfectly evenly distributed in this (and the other two) fruitcake - you can see that through the upper "cake" bit, if you look carefully.

Prashant - how interesting. Not sure fresh berries would work alongside a fruitcake, but then tastes differ..

Anon. - täpselt minu sõnad. Mõnikord töötab, mõnikord mitte :)

Annie- glad to hear that you like my blog. For converting, try the Culinary Converter that's on the bottom of the right-hand sidebar of my blog (you need to scroll down a little).

Barbara - I didn't know I had a reader from Brasil :) Welcome - and hope you liked the cake. I made it three times this December ;)

Nickoval said...

I've made this fruit cake twice, and it rocks. I recommend reserving a bit of batter before stirring in the dried fruit (from our lovely Tallinn Central Market) and put the fruitless batter on the bottom of the pan. Otherwise, some of the fruit sticks to the bottom of the pan no matter how well buttered & floured.

smart cell phone said...

I did some in summer and served it with fresh berries. Yum.mb