More To Life Than Bacon – Fruitcake!

Fruitcake
The Family Fruitcake (Recipe 🙂 )

Okay, for those who are tired of rotating gift fruitcakes through your friend network or using them for doorstops, this is the reason they were really invented, before the commercial folks corrupted the process.
If you’ve only eaten the commercial ones, you haven’t eaten fruitcake.

Equipment:
 We have ‘square’ 2-quart jars, quite old.
  If you can’t find such, use whatever works, but should seal.
 We use 1-lb coffee cans (quite old) for small fruitcakes
  and tube cake pan for larger fruitcakes.
   Use whatever works – about 7 inches across, 4 inches high.
Recipe makes one large fruitcake or 3-4 smaller ones
  depending on what container you use.

The secret to good fruit cake is the great variety of fruits/nuts and slicing the fruit VERY thin.

Ingredients:

 1 lb candied pineapple
 1/2 lb candied cherries
 1/4 lb citron
 1/8 lb lemon peel
 1/8 lb orange peel
 1 lb golden raisins
 1/2 lb seeded (muscat) raisins
 1/4 lb currants
 1/4 seedless raisins

 1/2 cup brandy
 1/4 lb almonds
     or 2 oz almonds & 2oz pecans
 1/4 lb walnuts

 1/4 lb butter
 1 cup sugar
 1 cup light brown sugar

 2 cups flour
 1/2 tsp mace
 1/2 tsp cinnamon
 1/2 tsp baking soda
 5 eggs
 1 tblsp milk
 1 tsp almond extract

Preparation:
 Sort through raisins and currents, removing any stems or bad ones.
 Carefully slice all fruit.
    Slice VERY thin.
 Place fruit, nuts, raisins & brandy in large bowl, mix well.
 Transfer to large glass jar with lid, set aside.
    We do this prep work the day before, let it marinate overnight.

 Sift 11/2 cup flour with spices and soda.
 Beat eggs lightly, not whipped.
 Cream butter in separate bowl, work in white sugar, then brown sugar.
 Cream well until light and fluffy.
 Stir in eggs, add milk and almond extract.
 Add flour, mix thoroughly.
 Mix other 1/2 flour with fruit/nuts and move to another bowl.
 Pour batter over fruit/nut mixture and mix thoroughly.

 Divide evenly among coffee cans lined with buttered/greased brown paper.
  or into larger cake pan.

 Bake at 275° about 2 hours.

When completely cool, wrap in wax paper, then in foil.
We then seal them in tin boxes.
Use whatever you can find that makes a good seal.

When you unwrap them, keep a small knife handy.
Bits of fruit may stick to the paper.
Pick them off with the knife and push them back into the cake.

This cake is incredibly rich. That means the servings are very thin slices and a cake may last for years.

Once a year, unwrap and eat some more.
Sprinkle with brandy or sherry, rewrap and store for next year.
We have some 10 years old or more – still delicious.

Candied Bacon

8 pieces bacon, thick-sliced, not maple or sugar flavored.
Handful brown sugar, light or dark. [3/4 cup?]
1 pinch chipotle or cayenne or even cracked black pepper.
Dark chocolate, melted.

Preheat oven to 400°
Line cookie pan (raised edges) with foil (easy cleanup).
Set rack on top of pan.
   Idea is to let the grease drain off the bacon.

Spread brown sugar on a plate.
Press bacon into sugar, coating both sides, dust off excess.]
Lay bacon on the rack.
   Bacon won’t shrink, so don’t crowd the rack.
Bake 20-25 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your bacon.
Sprinkle pepper lightly on bacon.
Let cool until sugar hardens.
Either dip pieces in melted chocolate and refrigerate to set the chocolate
   or serve with melted chocolate and let guests dip if they chose.

h/t yummly.com


…and just for laughs…Merry Christmas

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