1956 Christmas Buffet: Part Three

Here is the last part of the Christmas buffet and if you want to read the first two posts click here and here. I have been creating the Christmas buffet out of a 1956 Christmas booklet called A Merry Christmas at Your House. This is a bit delayed but I do have a reason for it. My lovely nephew was up the days I was writing these posts and somehow misplaced the booklet. I am always amazed what can attract a six year old’s attention as well as how well they can loose things. I have no idea how he managed to wedge it between some video games.

The last post is for just one recipe but it is a huge recipe and that is the fruit cake. I think most people, including me, when someone mentions fruit cake we conjure up images of the artificial tasting store bought versions. Fruit cake is also considered incredibly old fashion these days as well. I can kind of understand why these recipe went out of style. First they make A LOT. This recipe makes four loaves or one big ring of dense and rich cake. A little goes a long way so even the smaller loaves can take a while to consume. Second they also use A LOT of ingredients which can add up quickly. I do think there is a remarkable difference between homemade versus store bought fruitcake. Everyone who tried the homemade version was amazed of the taste and I swear I heard the phrase “wow this actually isn’t that bad” more than once. So if this is on your culinary bucket list to make but are hesitant, I say give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised. Also this slices and freezes incredible well so you don’t have to be overwhelmed with trying to consume the amount this recipe makes.

A couple quick notes and we will get on to the recipe. I did cut some of the fruit out but I added it into the notes of the recipe if you want to go full force on the fruit. By the way I cut them only because my grocery store was out of currants and sultanas and I couldn’t be bothered to go to another one. Also the recipe does not call for it being frosted. However the fruit cake is frosted on the picture that is the cover of the booklet and that is why I did it. Again I included it in the recipe but it is completely optional. Lastly just in case you are the type that doesn’t read through the recipe before starting (trust me I can be guilty of this), this bakes in the oven anywhere from two hours to 4 and a half hours so plan accordingly.

Fruit Cake

  • Servings: A Lot
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A classic recipe for fruit cake.

source: A Merry Christmas at Your Home (1956)

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs seedless raisins
  • 8 oz candied cherries
  • 4 oz candied citron
  • 4 oz candied orange peel
  • 4 oz candied lemon peel
  • 6 cups sifted flour, divided
  • 1 lb butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Optional: For glaze – 2 cups sifted powder sugar, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 3 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. For decoration – candied cherry halves

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
  2. In a bowl dredge the raisins and candied fruit in 1 cup of flour. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and then gradually add the brown sugar.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time.
  5. In a two bowls, mix together the pineapple juice, molasses, orange juice and vanilla in one and in the other sift together the remaining 5 cups of flour, the spices, baking soda and baking powder.
  6. Add both the liquid and dry ingredients to the butter mixture, by alternating the dry with the liquid till all is fully incorporated.
  7. Fold in the dredged fruit.
  8. Place in four greased 2 lb loaf pans or one large bundt or a tube cake pan. If using the loaf pans bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or if using the bundt or tube cake pan, bake for 4 to 4 1/2 hours.
  9. If you want decorate it like I did in the picture: Mix together the ingredients for the glaze. You can add or subtract the milk depending on the consistency you want. Pour on top of the fruit cake and decorate with the candied cherry halves.

Notes: I did cut down on some of the fruit in the recipe so if you want to make this closer to the original recipe just add 1 lb of sultana raisins as well as 1 lb of currants. 

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