Fruitcake Without Fear
“It just doesn’t add up! Fruit = good. Cake = great. Fruitcake = nasty crap.”Â Â — Jim Gaffigan
Okay, I have to be honest, I really have never liked it before, but after reading this from Adventures in Crunchy Parenthood:
Now before you go telling me how nasty fruitcake is, let me tell you a little secret: there are two kinds of fruitcake. The one you are thinking of is the one with all the little candied fruit bits that have a weird flavor. Granted, it does have a weird flavor, but honestly, I love that kind too (don’t ask me why). But what you are really missing out on is REAL fruitcake. The fruitcake most people know today is full of little processed, candied fruits which have a flavoring called citron added to them. That’s the weird/gross/funny taste most people complain about. REAL fruitcake is made with just plain dried fruits and nuts, and can be customized to suit your particular tastes.
. . . as well as this from the esteemed Noble Pig, I decided to try making one that I might actually like, focusing on dried fruits I actually like, like dates and pineapples and such. Lo and behold, it really is a whole different experience! Basing it on the recipe in the first link, I decided to go ahead and make it vegan, since the eggs were the only thing making it not, and flax works really well as an egg substitute in quickbreads, muffins, many cookies and the like. Gluten-free is a must for me, but if it’s not an issue for you, use all-purpose or whatever flour you prefer.
NO FEAR FRUITCAKE
2 cups dried dates, chopped
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup pineapple
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup gluten-free flour blend, such as Bob’s Red Mill
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons flaxmeal or other egg replacement
Heat oven to 300Â° F. Coat a large loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3) with nonstick cooking spray. Stir the flaxmeal together with 3/4 cup warm water, set aside to let thicken (you can stir it occasionally). Mix fruits and nuts in one large mixing bowl, stir dry ingredients together with a fork in another.Â Add to fruit and nuts, toss together. Add flaxmeal and vanilla, stir until well-combined – it will seem dry at first but eventually will be moistened through but very thick. Spread in pan.
Bake about 1 hour 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If necessary, cover withÂ foil during the last 30 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Remove from pan and place on cooling rack. Allow to cool completely and become completely firm before cutting, usually about 24 hours. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator for up to two months.
– posted by Anne