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December 17, 2003



I am still finishing off my mother's Wisconsin style Thanksgiving fruitcake -- three loaves of fluorescent candied fruit and alcohol, except she skips the alcohol, and unlike the SC version it's wholly delistable; must be the butter -- but I will add this to the holiday collection.


ben wolfson

Citron? As in the Naxian fruit that's about 90% pith and the source of an ambiguously foul analogue of limoncello? Or is that something else?

Mitch Mills

I heartily applaud your efforts to raise the reputation of fruitcakes. I well remember the first time I had a real one. Having only encountered the insipid commercial ones before (there's that old joke that only seven fruitcakes actually exist in the world, and people just keep mailing them on to the next hapless victim the following Christmas), eating the real thing was a revelation.

Since then I've tried to do my part by making good ones and offering them to the unsuspecting, usually only telling them it's a fruitcake once they exclaim "Wow this is incredible, what is this? (hic!)" I'm looking forward to the tea-steeped recipe too though, as I have Southern Baptist relatives to entertain from time to time.

I have a delightful cookbook called Favorite Fruitcakes by Moira Hodgson, although it's packed away in an attic elsewhere, so I don't currently have access to it. It's a wee small book, but it has a bunch of recipes for different kinds of fruitcakes from many different countries and cooking traditions, as well as history and commentary from some famous chefs and food writers (e.g. James Beard, Julia Child, I think). It also explains things like how to candy your own citrus peel and other fruit, in case you want to get really serious about fruitcakes. All in all it's a great read and resource, and I recommend it even to cooks who think they don't like fruitcake.

Belle Waring

Yes, Ben, that citron. People cut off the peel together with some pith and candy it. I meant the pre-candied kind (though, as Mitch points out, you can get really jiggy with it and candy your own.) I bet you could do the same thing with pomelo, which we get a lot of in Singapore: it's like a giant grapefruit, with inch-thick peel, and tasty fruit that pulls apart into little shreds. That people make salads out of it with crab.

Belle Waring

sorry, that should read "Thai people", etc.

Mitch Mills

Mmmmmmmmmm, pomelo. Yet another fruit I really miss.

Mitch Mills

More evidence of the enduring power of fruitcake.


Thank you for the Fruitcake recipe. I used to make this as a teenager with my aunt who had the NYT cookbook. My sister and I, now in our 50's have been looking for the recipe.

Thanks for the memories.

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