Ingredient: ground cloves

Best Christmas Fruitcake Ever

First, I want to thank everyone who came to the facebook launch of Home for Christmas, the last of this first batch of Fortune Bay books. (Don’t worry, there should be another one coming out next summer, 2017. Join my mailing list for news of new books.)

It was great to hang out with some readers who are quickly becoming friends, and to meet so many new potential readers from as far away as  South Africa, Holland, New Zealand and Australia!

I promised to put up my recipe for fruit cake – guaranteed to turn skeptics into fans. So here it is.

The secret is the strawberry jam, kirsch brandy, pineapple step.
It still tastes like fruit cake, just moist and fruity and good.

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, who originally found it in the Toronto Star many years ago. Apparently it was sent in by a reader from Winchester Ontario which, coincidentally is where my sister lives. I love when synchronicity happens!

There are quite a few steps, but worth the trouble. It doesn’t really take that long and you end up with fruitcake to eat and give away.

My recipe says “make in late October”, so I better get at it!

Judy

Print Recipe
Best Christmas Fruitcake Ever
Guaranteed to turn skeptics into fans. The secret is the strawberry jam, kirsch brandy, pineapple step. It still tastes like fruit cake, just moist and fruity and good. Originally called "Willis Fruit Cake".
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 2 hr 20 min.
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
mini-loafs
Ingredients
Day 1, Group 2
Day 2, Group 3
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 2 hr 20 min.
Passive Time 2 months
Servings
mini-loafs
Ingredients
Day 1, Group 2
Day 2, Group 3
Instructions
Day 1, Group 1
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, cover with plastic and leave at room temperature overnight.
Day 1, Group 2
  1. Simmer pineapple and sugar for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool and stir in brandy. Refrigerate overnight.
Day 2, Group 3
  1. Pre-heat oven to 275°.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. In a very large bowl, toss fruit and nuts in 1/2 cup of dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients alternating with pineapple mixture. Combine lightly between additions.
  6. Pour over flour-coated fruit and nuts mixture. Mix well.
  7. Pour into prepared pans. (I line mine with parchment paper.) Put in preheated oven with a baking dish of water to keep loaves from drying out.
  8. Bake at 275° for 2 hr and 20 min.
  9. Cool. Wrap in brandy soaked cloths (or rum, Fireball or fruit juice). Wrap with foil and store at room temperature in a cool room.
  10. Douse periodically with brandy or juices as the cloth dries out.
  11. Enjoy at Christmas and beyond.

When your Zucchini get out of hand.

To celebrate the launch of The Good Neighbor, Book Two in the Fortune Bay Series, I’m continuing my week of late summer recipes with

Zucchini Bread, or

“what to do when your garden becomes the Little Shop of Horrors.”

The other day, my mother tried a piece of my Zucchini Bread.

“What is that flavor?” she said. “Mine has never been this nice.”

“Cloves,” I told her.

“I don’t like cloves,” she said. “But I love that.”

I have to admit it was particularly good batch. I usually grind whole cloves and if you are not diligent with the mortar and pestle, the flavour of the chunks of clove can over power the loaf.

This time I hadn’t been able to find whole cloves at the store, so I used ground and found it was better for this bread.

20150901_5057 Also, I wrung out the grated zucchini just the right amount and the moisture level was perfect. Last time I was showing someone how to wring out the excess moisture in a tea towel, was over zealous and the bread was a touch dry. But do wring it out to prevent a soggy loaf.

Nobody likes a soggy loaf!

It’s a great way to use that excess zucchini at this time of year, or get a nice size one at the farmer’s market and knock yourself out!

In The Good Neighbor, (yes! out this week!) Stephanie goes out to her garden and finds:

The Good Neighbor

The stump end of a mammoth zucchini peeked out at her from under a leaf. Not good. Zucchini were the jesters of the garden, growing to ridiculous, bulbous proportions when your back was turned…

Hefting a giant zucchini in one hand, she measured its weight, reminded of a childhood summer day spent grating the big ones for zucchini bread, the smell of cloves and cinnamon filling the air. She put the offender under one arm, the basket over the other, and started down the shoreline path to the cabin.

Cloves and spice, Aunt Augusta’s trademark. Stephanie must have the same recipe I have.

Enjoy!

Judy sig

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Print Recipe
Zucchini Nut Loaf
Sweet and moist with the (subtle) flavour of cloves and cinnamon, this is the perfect sweet bread to have in the freezer to whip out for unexpected company. Or when you just need some comfort food yourself.
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
loafs
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Cuisine Sweet Treats
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
loafs
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Grate the zucchini. Lay in a towel and wring out some of the water. water will run out. Don't squeeze until totally dry or the bread will be dry.
  2. In a large bowl mix the sugar, oil and vanilla with a large spoon. Beat in the eggs and stir in the zucchini.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl. Add to zucchini mixture and stir.
  4. Spoon batter into 2 greased loaf pans, or five tiny ones so you can give some away.
  5. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour - until toothpick comes out clean. Turn out of pans onto wire rack and cool right side up. Wrap airtight when cool and keep in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freezes well.