So… fruit cake. Yeah, I know, it sucks right? Those hard, dense loaves that circulate around Christmastime that you could build an igloo with need to go back to whichever decade they crept out of.
Except, guess what? Not all fruit cakes are blechy. As a matter of fact, this one is anything but. It’s moist and airy and bursting with yummy bits of tender fruit. And this one is special. This one is special because you can only get it from a friend.
That’s right. You have to be chosen.
When you first get one, it comes with a mysterious “starter” jar filled with this syrupy pink liquid. And you’re all like, ummm… thanks, pal. What am I supposed to do with this jar? Light it on fire and hurl it at the neighbors like a Molotov Cocktail? And… a fruit cake, really… you shouldn't have. Really.
But then you taste the fruit cake and you’re blown away with how awesome it is and feel bad for acting like a brat about it.
And then you actually sit down and read the recipe and start to feel all superior because you see how much thought and planning went into it and you were chosen to receive it.
And now, instead of thinking what the crap am I supposed to do with this? you’re secretly wondering which of your other friends were chosen and which weren't and you want to go set your pink jar on the porch and point a spotlight at it so everyone will know you were chosen.
Or something like that.
This is a lot of fun and makes incredible gifts. You just have to plan ahead and buy a few jars. I plan on getting the onions involved with making the next batch because it’s kinda like a science experiment. Plus math. And it’s chocked full of life lessons about booze and being chosen. Ha.
And guess what else? I’m going to show you how to make your own Starter. So you can make all of it you want and sit on your porch all be all like, Oh, you didn't want to give me one? Well, suck it because I made my own!
I’m going to end on that note because I seem to be getting away from the true spirit of friendship :o) though, my friends are seriously kooky and will think this is funny even if the rest of you think I have finally lost it.
Friendship Fruit Cake Starter
1 20-oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
1 16-oz. can apricots, drained
1 16-oz. can sliced peaches, drained and cut into chunks
1 10-oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 1/4 cups brandy
1 1/4 cups sugar
|Friendship Fruit Cake Starter|
Drain fruit, reserving liquid (Starter). Serve fruit over pound cake or ice cream or anything else that suits your fancy. Pour reserved liquid into a pint-sized jar and give to a friend with the recipe for the Friendship Fruit Cake or use it yourself to make the cake and more starter.
*you can either set the lid askew or cover with a kitchen towel or cheesecloth but DO NOT seal it with a tight lid or it may burst.
Friendship Fruit Cake
1 pint Friendship Fruit Cake Starter
1 16-oz. can sliced peaches, with liquid – do not drain
1 20-oz. can pineapple tidbits, with liquid – do not drain
2 10-oz. jars maraschino cherries, drained and halved
6 cups sugar, divided
8 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 boxes yellow cake mix
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts (here's the nut grinder I use)
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (optional)
2 cups raisins (optional)
Pour Starter into a large glass jar. Cut peaches into chunks then add peaches and liquid from the can into jar. Add 2 cups sugar and stir well. Cover jar with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and secure with a rubber band (do not seal lid tightly as the mixture needs air to ferment). Stir mixture once each day for 10 days.
Add pineapple tidbits, with liquid to the jar. Add 2 cups sugar, stir well and cover. Stir mixture once each day for 10 more days.
Add drained and halved cherries to the jar. Add 2 cups sugar, stir well and cover. Stir mixture once each day for 10 more days.
Day Thirty – Time to Bake!
Grease and flour 4 small (8-inch, 6-cup) or 2 regular (10-inch, 12-cup) bundt pans*. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Drain fruit, reserving liquid to be given away as Starter (should yield 3-4 pints of liquid).
Combine eggs and oil in a large bowl and mix well. Add cake mixes and pudding mixes and stir until combined (small lumps are OK). Stir in fruit, nuts, coconut and raisins.
Divide batter evenly into pans. Bake at 325 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (40-50 minutes for small, 60-90 minutes for large). Remove cakes from oven and cool in pans. Invert cakes onto serving plates. Store cakes in an air-tight container or cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to three months.
*I like to make 4 small cakes. I keep one for myself and give the other three away with pints of the starter and copies of the recipe.
This recipe was featured at the Weekend Potluck!