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It's that Time Again......Fruitcake ....You Either Love it or Hate it!

It's that Time Again......Fruitcake ....You Either Love it or Hate it!

As the Christmas season approaches, I can't help but think about my grandmother and my mother's fruitcake recipes.

The cakes were totally different in looks and taste, but both very much a tradition in our family.

They both are passed away now, but the memories of Christmas traditions will remain with me forever......sort of like that fruitcake that you hate)))

My grandmother's cake....I wish I had a photo to share with you.

The cake baking process started several days, probably about a week before Christmas.

Her grocery list included the basic cake ingredients, but also candied cherries....red and green, candied pineapple...red, green and yellow...candied citron whatever that was...I really never knew. And spices.....lots of spices. Allspice, cinnamon and I'm not sure what else.

The cake had raisins......regular and yellow...and currants. Not to mention the pecans and walnuts. I haven't even seen any currants in the grocery lately I don't think. Never really understood the difference between raisins and currants except the currants were smaller.

If a grocery store was out of one of the candied fruits, panic would set in.

Once we grandchildren were older, or away from home and married, she would call us.....pick me up some green cherries! I have to have some green cherries!

My grandmother would bake the layers and use a lot spice in the batter along with the nuts and some of the candied fruit.

The icing was cooked on the stove and went between the layers and on top. It was more like a thickened glaze with grated orange rind and coconut.

More of the candied fruits and nuts (these nuts had to be nice half pieces) were used for decoration on top.

She had a glass cake plate that had a metal cover. The cake was heavy! It would sit on top of her freezer waiting patiently for the Christmas feast.

The cake plate and cover is not my grandmother's, but one like it.

Our family's Christmas celebration was the noon meal on Christmas Eve.

Once everybody had eaten their fill of turkey, ham, dressing, fruit salad and all the trimmings.....out would come the cake....and people would just start drawing up.......

My grandmother would make sure everyone, I mean EVERYONE had a piece or just a bite of her fruitcake......there would be no rest until everyone had tasted it.

I don't know anyone who liked it. I think it was the spice.....or maybe the grated orange peel in the icing. Or maybe it just was that we would be too stuffed from the lunch to eat anything else.

Actually it was much more palatable several days after Christmas when the rest of the goodies were gone, and you were down to that last Christmas delicacy........Mama's fruitcake. (We called our grandmother "Mama.")

Now Mother's fruitcake.....was a fruitcake all together different. She made her fruitcake out of crushed graham crackers or vanilla wafers, pecans, raisins, maraschino cherries.....and it was all held together with melted marshmallows or marshmallow cream. It was a no-bake style.

What's not to like about that cake! She would crush up the graham crackers, carefully saving the box. Everything would be dumped into a big bowl and the melted marshmallows poured over the ingredients.

She would take her hands and work this all together then pack the cake back into the graham cracker boxes that had been lined with wax paper. The cake would go in the refrigerator and she would have to run us out of the kitchen to stay out of it.

We wanted a piece of her fruitcake before it could even set up! It wasn't like a fruitcake competition or anything......but there were always two fruitcakes for Christmas!

My mother would bring hers in unannounced, just sitting quietly over there somewhere with the food or other desserts.

The meal was always at my grandmother's house and when she would bring out her fruitcake everyone would admire it, take a bite and comment on it.

Then before they left the kitchen, they would go by and pick up a piece of Mother's no-bake fruitcake and gobble it down licking their fingers.

As we children grew older and left home....she would make several of her cakes and pull one out of the frig for you to take home. I don't think there was ever a bite wasted of her fruitcakes....not at my house anyway.

One year I decided to make my own no-bake fruitcake with her recipe....but I thought I had a great idea of packing it into empty Pringles cans......figured I could slice it off in neat little cake rounds.....what a nice touch.

Well...need I say more.....I wound up having to cut the cans OFF that cake....neat it was not))

Now that I'm older and have baked a few cakes myself.....I understand how my grandmother must have felt and why she wanted everyone to have a bite of her cake.

That was HARD WORK and one deserves to be appreciated for that kind of effort!

I wish I had a copy of her recipe....I would bake that cake myself.....and make EVERYONE eat it))))

Below is a Fruitcake ornament ornament that Old World Christmas used to have. It's since been retired......like a piece of an old fruitcake((( old world christmas fruitcake

 

Updated from a 2011 post.

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