106 yr old Fruitcake nearly edible

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by Norcalbaker59, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Fruitcake has fallen out of favor in America. As a southern country gal, my grandmother baked one rich, boozy fruitcake. The cakes were baked in October, then regularly doused with booze until Christmas. A homemade fruitcake is delicious and nothing like those commercially produced dense bricks filled with weird colored fruit.

    I always knew a fruitcake aged beautifully, but I was surprised to read that conservationist found a perfectly preserved106 year old fruitcake in Antarctica. While it had a slight scent of rancid butter, it was almost still edible. They believe the fruitcake belonged to British explorer Robert Falcon Scott.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/world/europe/fruitcake-antarctica-scott.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=4&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/13/world/europe/fruitcake-antarctica-scott.html&eventName=Watching-article-click
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 13, 2017
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  2. Norcalbaker59

    Margot Member

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    Fruitcake??? Fallen out of favor??? Well, we can blame that on automation and those horrid things they turned out in the 50's. They made them round and had a hole in the middle. They used cheap fruitcake mix, and the cake itself was dry and nasty. They came in tins and were ultimately used in fruit cake tossing contests at the county fair.

    I have worked hard to keep up my mother's tradition of fruitcake. She came from England. It is a true English recipe, filled with fruit and raisins. Moist and wonderful and it lasted a full year between seasons. One recipient of her cake found it on the top of her pantry shelves after about seven years. They cautiously opened and tasted the cake together. It was fine. As butter is not used in the recipe, there was no rancid taste.

    When Sunmaid stopped growing seeded Muscat raisins, I had to alter the recipe to get a reasonable facsimile. After a couple of seasons, I think I have succeded. Now I hear Muscats are on the menu again. Go figure.
     
    Margot, Aug 15, 2017
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  3. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, those so called fruitcakes from the 50's ruined the reputation of fruitcake! When I tell people I love fruitcake they look at me like I have three heads. They have no idea how good a fruitcake is when made in the traditional way. Real dried fruit, fresh nuts, and brandy make for a delicious moist cake with incredible complexity. Cheers to the muscat grape. I haven't seen a muscat grape since the 60's. Muscat was a favorite of my grandfather.

    In England the fruitcake is the traditional wedding cake. Part of the reason is because it preserves so beautifully. While Americans preserve the top layer of the wedding cake as an anniversary layer, in England the layer is a christening layer. Since it's served at the christening celebration of the first born child, it could very well end up preserved a lot longer than an wedding anniversary layer. The baker who made the wedding fruitcake for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge preserved three layers for christenings. News outlets reported one layer was served at Prince George's christening. So their wedding fruitcake is in fact being eaten years after baking.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 15, 2017
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