what to post, what to post, what to post…..
I think I have a bit of a problem, mainly stemming from not posting regularly enough. This problem leads to such predicaments as I am in right now. Which leads to complacency because I just can’t decide! Which then continues the vicious cycle of still not posting… Do I post another Christmas cookie recipe? I have plenty of them right now… Or, do I post a recipe from the wonderful vegan & refined-sugar-free Christmas dinner that Joe and I had last week? Or, do I talk about making butter for the first time? Or, do I post the fruitcake?
Oh, the fruitcake. Travesty, I’d almost forgotten about it in the deluge of Christmas cooking! So many recipes, so many things being made and given away and on and on it goes… But, the fruitcake! I know there’s still a bit hiding in the refrigerator, and I’m thinking I may have to go enjoy a lil’ bit while I type. That’s legit, right?
Now, I know fruitcake has a bit of a bad rep for some folks. That’s completely understandable, when you think about that gooey, sugary, candied fruit thing that usually gets labeled “fruitcake”. Let me be clear – that is not what I am referring to! At some point back in my childhood, I was lucky enough to taste a real fruitcake. I don’t remember when this was, or where it was, but I remember being completely enthralled. Ever since, when I’ve seen fruitcake on holiday platters, I’ve reached out to try a piece with a spark of excitement, only to find with dismay that I could barely even stomach the first bite. Not. The. Same.
Then a couple of years ago, I found a recipe in a Cooking Light magazine, for a fruitcake, and it sounded like one I would like. So, two years ago, I said “Mom! We should make this.” And she, responded, with a disapproving frown, “fruitcake?” Then, one year ago, there was a replay. Finally, this year, I said “Joe! We should make this.” There was some skepticism, but he consented, and I finally got to test out the recipe that had me so excited.
In general, I followed the Cooking Light recipe. I changed some of the fruits & nuts I’d use, and I made it whole-wheat and refined-sugar free. I was entirely happy with the results! Feel free, though to vary the fruit and nut combos to whatever suits your taste; everyone’s got different favorites!
I love this fruitcake. I love the simple wholesomeness of the fruit and nut kaleidoscope throughout the bread. I love the colorful appearance of a stained glass window in each slice. I love the rich complexity of rum-drenched flavors. I just love this bread.
Trust me, if fruitcake scares you, try this one! It just may win you over.
makes 1 loaf
1 cup raisins
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg (if you have good eggs from happy chickens! Otherwise, a flax -or any other- egg substitute would be perfect)
1/2 cup dark rum (such as Myers), divided
1 tsp grated orange rind
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat an 8″x4″ loaf pan with oil and dust pan with flour. Set aside.
Combine fruit and nuts with 1 1/2 Tbsp of flour in a medium bowl. Toss well to coat. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Melt coconut oil gently in a large saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in syrup, egg (make sure your oil isn’t too hot!), 1/4 cup of rum and the orange rind. Add flour mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Gradually fold in fruit mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan and cover with foil. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Pierce top of cake several times with a wooden pick, and brush the remaining 1/4 cup of rum over the top of the warm cake. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan; wrap in plastic wrap, then wrap in foil. Refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving (that’s the hardest part!!!).