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Why is it that fruitcake gets such a bad rap?

My mom used to make fruitcake every year for Christmas and it was a great treat to look forward to all year. When I was in my teens I branched into my own fruitcake recipes. I have tasted commercial fruitcakes and understand why people disdain them, but feel the same way about say, Hostess fruit pies. That hasn't made people hate apple pie. How do you all feel about fruitcake and what do you think happened to create such a negative icon?

Meg is a trusted home cook.

asked over 2 years ago
13 answers 1444 views
Dsc_0122.nef-1
added over 2 years ago

I believe it had something to do with a Johny Carson comment on his show about how everyone had a fruitcake at home & these were constantly being re-gifted all over the place!

Bigpan
added over 2 years ago

Nothing beats a good home made Christmas fruit cake made in September and soaked in rum or brandy for three months ! Too late now, gotta start early fall.

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added over 2 years ago

I love Christmas cake! I make one every year, and a simnel for mothering Sunday, which is essentially a slightly lighter fruitcake with a layer of marzipan baked into it... I didn't make mine as arly as I'd like to have this year, but Nigella's easy action one with chestnut purée is a hands down winner in this house, and the ingredients ave been gathered for getting it done this evening. I love the smell of it as I cooks...

Junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

It's really too bad, because good fruit cake, properly aged, is wonderful. My mom used to make them, and I do too, sometimes. I should look up that recipe from Nigella. There might still be time. ;)

Dsc_0122.nef-1
added over 2 years ago

This may be of interest..

http://www.villagevoice...

Birthday_2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Funny article. I think that liquor and high quality fruit are critical components. Reminded me that I love Jamaican Black Fruitcake, which is loaded with rum (possibly 1:1).

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added over 2 years ago

http://www.publicradio...
That's the Christmas cake ... I change out the standard mixed dried fruit as I don't like mixed peel, so I put in sultanas,raisins, glacé cherries and dried cherries, I use whatever vaguely festive alcohol there is kicking about in the cupboard, and I'm afraid I'm a traditionalist, so it's marzipan and royal icing to cover! If you like fruitcake and marzipan, I early recommend the simnel cake too!

Birthday_2012
luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Thanks!! I have a shipment of angelica just for the top of the cake over the marzipan and royal icing.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only
AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 2 years ago

I adore fruit cake. I make a "white" fruitcake every year, using a recipe my mother's had forever . . . . like a buttery pound cake full of cherries, yellow raisins, pecans and whiskey. Lots of whiskey. It's called a Kentucky Whiskey Cake and even after a few days, if wrapped in whiskey-soaked cheesecloth that's generously moistened every day, it's out of this world. I love the traditional dark ones, too!! Fruit, nuts, molasses, spice . . . yum! ;o)

Sit2
added over 2 years ago

I'd say the common "fruit cake" Is provided to the mass market from one company, (I think in Georgia).
It's the same dense 'door stopper' product that's been around for 50 years and 90 percent of the fruit cake given or sold comes from that source. (I think there's another company in Texas that make basically the same product). That is what most people associate with 'fruit cake'; not something you make yourself; buy rather a 'gift' to shuffled off for third orbit acquaintances as a token gift.

When people think "Fruit Cake" they think of the product from those companies. The diffrence would be a "Hickory Farms Sausage Log and String Cheese Box" vs "A Homemade sausage and good cheese".


Sit2
added over 2 years ago

Heheh...this might make a good food52 challenge:

Take a store bought mass market 'common' fruit cake...and transform it to something great!

Stringio
added over 2 years ago

I think it has to do with the quality of the fruit. I make my Grandmother's "white Fruitcake" every year, but I sub out the green and red candied cherries and use a mix of dried fruit, heavy on the pineapple. In-fact heavy on the fruit.

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added over 2 years ago

English fruit cake has different dried fruit in... It's raisins, sultanas, currants and mixed peel, with some halved glacé cherries in for good measure. If I was given a cake full of what we would consider to be "tropical" dried fruit, I wouldn't find it half as appealing. Also large chunks of fruit don't make it easy to slice, let alone slice thinly!