I love including a mini loaf in my gift box of cookies. I always do banana, sometimes I do pear or apple or fig. This year I made banana which is always good and yesterday I got an email from Pure Wow Recipes. The name of it was The Best Damn Fruitcake Ever. Hmmmm I thought, thats a lofty claim, the dreaded fruitcake that most really hate, can this be the exception that I have been looking for. I decided to give it a try. How can you go wrong with delicious dried assorted fruits, nuts and booze. I bought the fruit. was out of bourbon so I used cognac to soak the fruit, ran out of almonds so I used walnuts along with the hazelnuts and pistachio’s. I must say it tastes absolutely nothing like the dreaded fruitcake, it is a loaf like banana bread or any fruit based bread really and is really good. If I make this again, I will make a few changes. They have you soak the fruit for 10 minutes in 1/2 cup of bourbon (cognac) I would soak the fruit longer even over night in more booze. The other change I would make is baking temperature. They say 350 degree’s I would bake at 325 degree’s. I found it got done much quicker (actually a bit overdone) than they said, of course to be fair I doubled the recipe baked 4 mini loaves and 1 larger loaf in a pan that wasn’t quite full enough. If I had left the larger loaf in the oven for 2 hours it would have burnt. All in all I think this is a really nice fruit cake and is a recipe I would play around with and tweak, it has serious potential.
Makes one 9 inch loaf or 3 mini loaves
from Pure Wow Recipes
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup golden raisins
1 cup bourbon
½ cup pistachios, chopped
½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
½ cup pecans, chopped
½ cup sliced almonds
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest
Pinch of cinnamon
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Turbinado sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. Prepare the fruit: In a medium-size heat-safe bowl, toss the apricots with the cranberries, cherries and raisins. In a small pot, bring the bourbon to a simmer. Pour it over the fruit and let sit for 10 minutes. NOTE: I soaked my fruit overnight and because I did that I didn’t bring the bourbon/cognac to a simmer on the stove.
3. Drain the fruit, reserving the bourbon. Transfer the fruit to another medium bowl and toss with the pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans and almonds. Set aside.
4. Make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl well after each addition.
5. Beat in the vanilla extract, orange zest and cinnamon. Add the flour and baking powder; mix just until combined.
6. Bake the cake: Add the fruit-and-nut mixture to the batter and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Garnish with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar, then bake until golden and cooked through, 2 to 2½ hours. NOTE: I made 3 mini loaves which took approximately 45 minutes to bake. I tested with a bamboo skewer starting at 30 minutes in the oven.
7. While the cake is baking, bring the reserved bourbon to a simmer and reduce to about ¼ cup. Pour the reduced bourbon over the warm cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving. The uncut cake will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container. NOTE: I did not cook the bourbon/cognac but spooned some on the cake when it came out of the oven, let it cool then spooned on a little more and wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a air tight tin. Every few days I spooned more syrup on the cake and re wrapped and let it age in the tin. It is good after about a week to eat but it can sit longer.
not your average fruitcake
Makes one 9 inch loaf or 3 mini loaves
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 heaping cup mashed very ripe bananas (the recipe calls for 1 cup, I pile it high)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
- Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.