You may be surprised to learn that a fruitcake is not meant to be a weapon. Its true! It should be dense and moist and squishy and sweet and fruity and spiced and christmasy to the max! Here’s how it’s done!
- Dried Apples
- Dried Apricots
- Dried Dates
and whatever other dried fruit you have. Figs are good. I added dried quince fruit leather that I made this Fall as well.
- A generous handful or two of Pecans!
- Spices: Powdered Cinnamon and Cloves.
- A jug of Apple Cider
- Flour as needed
Fruitcake is a food that doesn’t spoil for a long time. It lasts several months under the right conditions, and longer in a fridge. The reason this is the case is because you essentially cook or leech out the sugars in the dried fruits into a syrupy mixture and soak the entire cake in it, preserving it as effectively as the dried fruit itself.
In terms of flavor, the apricot is an essential balancing agent, because it is sour enough to balance out the sweetness of the dates or figs. They are not optional.
Put all of your dried fruit into a pot and add Apple Cider until the cider reaches near the top of the fruit. Do not cover the fruit entirely or you will have too much liquid. Also add your spices at this time.
See Example Here
Cook this mixture for about an hour or two at low temperatures to create your delicious amorphous fruity mass of chunky spiced fruit syrup. Note that the liquid will remain very liquid at warm temperatures, so there is nothing to be concerned about. Your tasty spices are seeping into the fruit during this process.
Take your fruit off of the stove and let it cool a little to avoid scalding yourself. When it’s cooled off a bit, begin adding flour. You will need several cups, but just start slowly and work it in. Stop adding flour once you have enough to form a cohesive mass. It will be extremely sticky and essentially impossible to form because of how sticky it is, but if it sticks together and doesn’t flow anymore, you are done with the flour.
Do not add any extra liquid at any point, also do NOT add any yeast or eggs.
Plop the dough onto a floured cookie sheet with a tool. Then cover your hands in flour and shape the dough into a loaf on the sheet. The flour will prevent it from sticking to your hands. You will need to reapply flour to your hands frequently.
Your result should look like this:
Bake for about an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until brown. It could take a little more or less depending on the size of your loaf.
At this stage you are dehydrating the mixture, which concentrates the sugars and leaves you with a fairly soft, highly dense, delicious treat. At this point your fruitcake will have a crust
Wrap your fruitcake in foil.
It should be stored for at least a few days before consumption, as this allows the moisture inside to assimilate the crust as part of your delicious chewy mass and gives the flavors and spices time to mingle and really penetrate throughout your creation.