A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bourbon Fruitcake

I was really happy with my fruitcake this year, so I thought I'd post what I did.

I used this recipe from King Arthur, with several variations. As the recipe says, you can basically use 2.5 pounds of whatever kind of fruit you want. I used dates, dried cherries, golden raisins, dried mango and crystallized ginger — all things I love, with no weird green cherries or candied pineapple or anything. I think I used pecans for the nuts but maybe it was walnuts.

I used Evan Williams black-label bourbon for everything — soaking the fruit, brushing the cakes after they came out of the oven, and brushing them again a few months later.

Instead of golden syrup and juice, I used part honey, part brown sugar and part water to make up the total volume. I probably used light, not dark, brown sugar. And added a touch of vanilla.

I baked them in two loaf pans — not bread loaf, but the next size down. I lined them with parchment paper.

I wrapped the finished loaves in cheesecloth, then plastic wrap, then foil, then gallon freezer bags and stored them in the pantry.

Many recipes I read said to unwrap your fruitcakes frequently — like weekly — and brush them. To me, that seemed like inviting contamination and drying. There was plenty of bourbon in there already. So I just left them alone for three months and brushed them a week or so before eating them.