Thursday, December 24, 2009

Comfort Food: I Love Fruitcake!

Old Fashioned Fruit Cake Mints LadyImage by Archie McPhee Seattle via Flickr

It's Christmas Eve and time for some baking. Well, except I live with fibromyalgia, so leaving the baking to Christmas Eve isn't practical. So I got head start earlier in the week and I made one of my all time favorite holiday treats, fruitcake.

I know what you are thinking. "How could she like fruitcake?" I know fruitcake is one of the most maligned holiday foods, but that is probably because you never had a piece of my Grandma Devine's fruitcake. My Grandma's fruitcakes were delicious.

And speaking to her ingenuity, she even figure out how to make her fruitcake with the eggs that our ducks laid. You see, my maternal grandparents gave us two ducklings one Easter as a present. Sammy and Julie were both girls, which we discovered when they both started laying eggs. Duck eggs taste really bad scrambled up like chicken eggs, but they work wonderfully in a fruitcake. They are also bigger than chicken eggs, so you use fewer of them in the recipe.

Now this year I decided to try a new take on fruitcake. I made a gingerbread cake in my crockpot before Thanksgiving, so I decided to Google and find a recipe for crockpot fruitcake. I scored big time with this recipe featured on the Chet Day's Crockpot Recipes blog. Click here to get there: Crockpot Fruitcake.

I made just a few changes to the recipe.

First, I used the Splenda for Baking brown sugar mix to decrease the sugar content. If you make this substitution, be sure the follow the package directions as you use only one half the amount of the Splenda for Baking compared to sugar. I made this mistake and now have the base to either make another fruitcake or maybe some gingerbread cookies.

Second, I used a combination of dried apricots, dried tart cherries and golden raisins. I adjusted the ingredients so that I used one cup each of the dried fruits and one cup of walnuts. I see a lot of room here to add any dried fruit that tickles your fancy.

The verdict: this is one tasty fruitcake! Even my hubby, who doesn't like fruit, really enjoyed eating a slice. I cut the cake in two and froze half for eating in the New Year. The other half will be part of the Christmas dessert spread. I hate to admit this, but this recipe is as good as my Grandma's and will become a new holiday favorite for years to come.

Leave me a comment if you try this recipe to let me know what you think.

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