21.11.06

Fruitcake: Not Just for Door Stops Anymore.


You know the age-old cliches about fruitcake. It's that "standard" gift that everyone used to give to their neighbors. That no one really wanted to get. That used to end up being used as doorstops or paperweights rather than being eaten. Its sticky-sweet glace (how DO you put those darn accents in?) fruit peeking out in un-natural reds and pinks and all manner of colors not found in the rainbow, and solidly encased in densely-packed sickeningly-sweet bread. I, for one, had stayed away from the stuff for as long as I can remember.

That was, until I found Big Daddy's Fruitcake at the Eugene Holiday Farmer's Market. Big Daddy's Fruitcake, hailing from Florence, OR, shows up at the Holiday Market every year. People wait all year for it to show up. And this year, having had one exquisite taste last year but too poor to afford a loaf myself from already having purchased all of my holiday gifts, was one of the ones ready and waiting for it to arrive.

This fruitcake isn't made from any un-naturally colored or flavored fruit...in fact, there's no candied fruit at all. It's just a mixture of delicious dried fruits and nuts - like peaches, pears, dates, papayas, and apples with walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds and peanuts thrown in. You can actually see and taste each one when you cut into your beautifully golden loaf. The pound-cake base is sweet, but not cloyingly so and the density of the loaf is enviable: a heavy-packed 2+ lbs...wow!


Gorgeous, isn't it? It's even cured in 3 kinds of alcohol (who could ask for more than that?!). If you're in the area and can make your way to the Holiday Market, stop by and get a loaf of this delicious treat. It's claims to be the best fruitcake on Earth, and I have to say, I agree. It's not cheap, but as a holiday indulgence, it's worth every penny. Even LB, who had stayed away from fruitcake for the same reasons I had, and being the L.B. that he is, fell in love with this fruitcake after a single bite and has been pilfering thin slices off of our rapidly disappearing loaf. I wish I had a recipe to share with you, but alas, I have no idea how to make fruitcake. I think I have my standard now, though, so if anyone has a recipe that's been in the family for years that might compare, please, please let me know. I'd love to bring back this standard in a form that even the neighbors would enjoy.

12 comments from you:

Tanna said...

The only fruit cake I've ever loved is the fruit cake my mom made with only 1 c flour making 3 loaves. It has no "sugar" but does have 2 cans Eagle Brand milk. Her's you cut thin and it looks like stained glass if you hold it to the light. I think I may try it with some of the dried fruits like on Big Daddy's label. Yum rum and brandy (vodka just ok)!!!

Tanna said...

And this one looks really really good.

michelle said...

Tanna,
Do let me know if you make it! I would love to have a recipe; and I do like the thought of not putting sugar in it. How long do you cure it?

Plume said...

Looks a bit like the one I made last week...
I posted the recipe on my blog but... it's in french!
I didn't put any candied fruits either.
I made one last year and it was delicious but the new one will have to cure for a month or so before I can taste it.

clare eats said...

Love good fruitcake my mum makes a great one every christmas :)

It was funny reading the L.B. and having to change the name to Lucky bastard LOL

It did work though!

Anonymous said...

That is definitely not door stop material. It looks fantastic. I love dense cakes - especially ones with lots of alcohol :) I will have to check if they can ship to other places. I would love to give it as a gift during the holidays.

michelle said...

Wait a minute...I swear I replied to your comments...where did they go?!! Any-hew:

Plume, Yours certainly does look like this one - it's beautiful! I can't wait to hear how they come out when they're cured - please let me know!!

Clare, I'm sure your mum's fruitcake is fabulous - moms always make the best stuff! I'm glad you like LB's new name - I do too (he he he).

Anna, why thank you! Alcohol makes everything taste better, especially baked goods!! If they don't ship, we can probably arrange something if you'd like to. You can email me at mphilli4 ATuoregonDOTedu

Tanna said...

Maybe I will make it this year. Not sure about the time for curing, don't think that was an abosolute. Haven't made it for a while. There isn't any sugar added but have you ever looked at an Eagle Brand Milk label? It's sugar, sugar. I'll let you know.

Plume said...

I updated the recipe in english!

michelle said...

Tanna, Oh you're right about EB Milk - I didn't think about that! Do let me know if you make it!

Plume,
Thanks!!

Melissa CookingDiva said...

It looks fantastic...I LOVE a good fruitcake! Un abrazo,
M

vlb5757 said...

Fruit cake is one of my most favorite things about Christmas. My favorite place to get mine is the Collin Street Bakery in Texas. I got to go there one year and actually pick mine up in person and I signed the guest book. My mom lives about 30 miles from there so it was must trip!