Sometimes around St. Anne’s, we’ve said “It’s nuttier than a fruitcake around here.” Now, as Christmas approaches, these words hold true once again.
But during this ‘National Fruitcake Month’ we might ask: Just how nutty is a fruitcake? Recipes for this holiday treat vary. A variety of ingredients can be used, and substitutions may be made. The one caution given is that the original proportions be maintained when making substitutions (e.g., if you substitute mango for pineapple, use the same amount as that given in the recipe.)
Another thing to keep in mind is the need to make the cakes ahead of time. Fruitcake should age for at least a month.
Sr. Rebecca, our administrator, remembers her mother making up fruitcake around Thanksgiving. Her mother would wrap the cakes in cheese cloth that she had soaked in brandy and let them set until Christmastime.
Interestingly enough, fruitcake is baked on a low temperature, no higher than 325 degrees.
One shocking aspect of fruitcakes is that they can be eaten long after they were first made; one source mentions up to 25 years later!
Although fruitcakes have a reputation among some people as being something awful-tasting that you certainly don’t want around for Christmas, experiences at St. Anne’s tell us otherwise. A friend of ours, MaryAnn Votava, kindly brings us her delicious homemade fruitcake each December. Her holiday treat shatters any presuppositions one might have about fruitcake being unsavory holiday fare.
If you’re interested in more fun fruitcake facts, check out this site.