It’s an annual tradition at Christmas…you either like it or not…..people have made jokes about it for years….it gets regifted quite possibly more than any other holiday item….of course, I’m referring to fruitcake! This is one of those Christmas treats that often gets a lot of bad publicity and is often disliked by most people. Some claim not to like it because of the “unidentifiable” things in the cake. Some don’t like the spices in a fruitcake and some like their fruitcake plain and simple, with just cherries, pineapples, and nuts. Let’s give the poor, unloved fruitcake some much deserved love as I pass along the ingredients for “Susie McIntyre’s White Fruitcake”.
This is a rather special recipe. In the Charlotte, NC area, our local CBS television affiliate, WBTV, had a cooking show, “Carolina Cookery”, that was hosted by Susie McIntyre. From 1951 to 1956, she gave recipes to local Carolina homemakers that were good and practical. In the course of her years of doing the show, she claimed to have only given one recipe for fruitcake, which is the one I’m about to give. This recipe makes a huge cake, but it can be made into loaves, too. The recipe can also be cut in half, if you don’t want a huge cake. It can also be flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice, if you choose. If you like the flavor of sherry on your cake, you can drizzle the top of the cake with that, if you wanted to.
This cake contains just the candied cherries, pineapple, and pecans, so for those that don’t care for the mixed candied fruits, this one is for you! You make a standard cake batter and add to the fruits and nuts, which have been coated in flour. This is placed in one large tube pan or four loaf pans. This has a slow baking period of four to five hours and a pan of water under it creates steam so that the cake will not be dry as it bakes. When the cakes are ready, they are turned out and if you wanted to top with sherry, this would be the time to do that. Wrap them well and store. Many bakers claim a fruitcake is better with age, so this is one you may want to begin working on rather soon and by Christmas, they will be mellow and full of flavor.
Another good fruitcake I passed on a few years ago is a “Lemon Fruitcake” and it’s surprisingly good, but you best like lemon extract to try this one, since it calls for a whole bottle of it! To get this recipe, follow the embedded link. This one also uses only candied cherries, pineapple, and nuts, too.
With this recipe, the jokes about fruitcake will be no more!
SUSIE McINTYRE’S WHITE FRUITCAKE
- 1 lb. butter, softened
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 14 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2-1/2 lbs. candied cherries, chopped
- 2-1/2 lbs. candied pineapple, chopped
- 2-1/2 lbs. shelled, broken nuts
- 1 cup rum OR fruit juice
- 1 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice (optional)
- sherry (optional)
Cream the butter and gradually add the sugar, creaming until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well as they are added. Fold in the flavorings. Mix the fruits and nuts in a very large bowl. Remove 1 cup of the flour and coat the fruits and nuts with it. Sift remaining flour and baking powder together. Alternately add the flour and liquid (either the rum or fruit juice) to the creamed mixture. Add the batter to the coated fruits and nuts and blend well.
Line a 10-inch tube pan or 4 loaf pans (4×8 inches) with brown paper or two thicknesses of waxed paper or baking parchment. Grease the paper well and turn mixture into pan(s) (cake will rise about one inch, so don’t fill pans completely full).
Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven to create steam during baking. Bake in a 250 degree oven 4-5 hours for the tube cake or about 2 hours for the loaf pans, or until they test done in the center. When cakes are done, turn them out onto cake racks. Remove paper and spoon 1/2 cup of sherry over tube cake or two tablespoons over each loaf. Yield: 1 10-inch tube cake or 4 4×8 inch loaves.