The best Christmas fruit cake recipe ~ ever!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Christmas fruit cake is a tradition in most Australian households. I believe it comes from our European roots.    This recipe has been handed down for generations in my family ~ of course I've tweaked it ~ as I'm sure each person making it does (especially in my family where we all enjoy cooking) , yet it still holds the rich, delicious  taste of the cakes of long ago.


Last night I went to bed with the smell of freshly cook fruit cake wafting through the air ~ it truly is the smell of Christmas to me. So many memories that smell holds, of cooking with my mother, my sisters, my children ~ precious times.  Each year my sister & I like to see who is soaking their fruit first, who has made their cake first (EJ I'm done ~ how about you?? :)) We each make it with our own personal touches ( she uses rum to soak her fruit).  This year another memory full of giggles ~ a bowl overflowing with cake batter ( note to self: get a bigger bowl before you attempt another triple batch). 

uuug... what a mess it was


There is nothing like serving a plate of delicious fruit cake to guests at Christmas time.  A full cake~  the perfect gift to your friends & neighbors. Having a slice as dessert with some yummy custard poured over the top is one of Dave's favorite ways of eating it.  Whenever we've traveled at Christmas I've always made sure we've had one to go with us ~ it is filling enough to push those little tummies to the next stop & keeps very well.  My Mum even used this recipe for our wedding cake!!

I hope you enjoy our family's Christmas cake recipe ~ the best one ever ( OK I may be a teeny weeny bit biased ;))

THE SUNNYSIDE FAMILY TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKE!! 

INGREDIENTS:
1kg sultanas;
1/2 cup sherry (remember the alcohol content will disappear when heated);

250g butter;
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar;
1 tsp vanilla essence;
2 tbs homemade apricot jam 
~ or use a store brought ;)
4 eggs;
2 3/4 cups plain flour;
1tsp mixed spice;
1/4 tsp cinnamon;
1/4 tsp nutmeg;
1 pkt macadamia nuts

METHOD:
1.  Soak sultanas in sherry for as long as you want ~ give it a good shake every other day to mix through well. (I've done anytime from a couple of hours to a few months)
2.  Cream butter, sugar & vanilla essence. Add jam.  Add eggs & beat.
3. Fold in dry flour & spices alternatively with fruit mix.
4.  Double line your tins with paper.  
5.  Bake in a slow oven (130 to 140 degrees Celcius) .  Check after 3 hours.  It usually needs about 4 hours.  

NOTES:
~ When cooked cake should feel firm & a knife when inserted will come out clean.
~ To add to the taste as soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour a capful of sherry over the top.
~ Store in a cool place ~It  keeps for at least a month. 

ICING:
Should you wish to ice it ( it's always yummy to have that bit of sweetness on top, but definitely not essential, I use a mixture of pure icing sugar, butter & a little milk.  If you allow it to air dry it will go quite hard which is perfect for fruitcake!

 ENJOY!!!
    


Today I'm joining up with the wonderful ladies who organize the Barn Hop for a special event:



Also the beautiful Angelina has invited me to join up with her first ever linky:



May you have a wonderful week my friends as you prepare for celebrating our Saviours' birth!


7 comments:

Smilie girl said...

Sounds so yummy! Thank you for sharing your special family recipe.

Ruby Jean said...

I am not a BIG fruit cake eater.. But then again the only ones I have tried are those TERRIBLE store bought ones that look like they have been held over from the previous year.. LOL!! but this one looks like it's worth trying.. I just started my first linky party and would love for you to link up... http://shoprubyjean.com/2011/12/sew-crafty-tuesday-linky-party1/

EJ said...

YUM Narn.. that looks AMAZING!!!

I was slack this year and didn't get my fruit on and i have been cross at myself for the past few months!!! :( But can't wait for mum's.. of course you can always bring me a sample so i can compare the two :)

Love you
EJ xoxox

Grandma said...

Hi Narn,
Yummo - this year so far, we have made lots of 'patty cake' size fruit cakes. I used to make my leftover mix into patty cakes - anyway, Dad likes them and they cook heaps faster than the big one, so I've been doing them rather than the big one. I ice them and sometimes wrap them individually in cellophane and tie the top with curling ribbon. People really like them. Glad your cake went well. I'm having to put some more fruit on to soak tonight as we're going to run out again (Aunty C made me 50 cakes for our College Dinner - I wrapped them as above and sat one in each place - a lovely decoration and they taste great!) She then made another batch and unfortunately, they are disappearing quite rapidly.
It was lovely to chat this morning - give all the darlings a big hug. Lots of love, mum xxxxxxxxxxx

Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

I have never eaten fruit cake.

Catherine said...

Renata! It's been ages since I got the luxury of having a good sit and read of your blog. Life is looking very beautiful at Sunnyside. I lvoe the music you've got playing - it was perfect with my cup of tea and minute to myself. Thanks! Your photography is gorgeous and captures the love in your family ;0) xo

Damo Corinne Jacob said...

Looks fantastic! (pity about the nuts!!! - I wonder what you replace that with...?)
Thanks for tea last night - it was lovely to spend time with you guys.
Can't wait for shopping 'kid-free' together, laser and tea! - it's going to be an awesome day,
Corinne

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