Thursday, December 23, 2010

214. Fruit-Cake Bread, Better than Good!

My mother made the most delicious fruitcake I have ever tasted. In fact, it was the only fruitcake that I thought tasted good enough to actually eat! Her recipe produced a white fruitcake with just the right amount of meaty nuts, sweet, glazed fruit and unbelievable flavors that gave Mother's cake its signature taste; it was beyond wonderful. She always made her fruitcake in a tube pan and once a year around Christmas time, we were treated to those fruit-filled slices.

After an unfortunate move, however, it was all too evident that the all of Mother's written recipes had been lost. Much to our disappointment...Mother never made fruitcake again. For years, I poured over dozens of cookbooks and on-line recipes and also tasted forgotten numbers of  fruitcakes...some made by me and some by others. All lived up to the universal reputation that most fruitcake was nothing more than a baked door stop. Needless to say, they ended up in the trash.

I had almost given up on making anything even resembling a fruitcake when I stumbled upon the recipe for Fruit Cake Bread. It is a cross between a fruitcake and a quick bread. This combination makes it lighter than traditional fruitcake and yet, it retains the flavor that makes a real fruitcake fragrant and tempting.

Because most I know people 'run for the hills' when fruitcake is mentioned, I tried this little treat out on several unsuspecting people by not mentioning the word 'fruitcake' and they not only loved it, they all came back for more.

Fruit Cake Bread keeps well and is delicious refrigerated. Please don't be mislead by the label...this is not your mother's fruitcake!

Fruit-Cake Bread

1 1/2 C sugar
1 1/3 C water
3 medium carrots, finely grated
1 C raisins
1 T butter
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

1 C chopped pecans

1 C glazed fruit

Put first six ingredients in a saucepan. On medium heat, bring to a boil; turn down to low and simmer fro 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover pot and let stand overnight or for at least 12 hours.

Add baking soda to the mixture to dissolve; add flour, salt and baking powder. Fold in nuts and glazed fruit, mixing well until ingredients are evenly blended. Pour batter into 2 well-greased loaf pans, a tube pan or 6 mini-loaf pans. Bake at 275 degrees for 2 hours for the larger pans or 1 hour for the mini-pans or until the top of the bread springs back when pressed gently.

Cool and wrap and refrigerate. This bread gets even better as it ages.

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