When I think of fruitcake, I think of bright green and red cherries and other unnatural fruits. I think of a loaf of cake so heavy that it could break a toe if dropped. I think of something that sits on a shelf, unwanted and unloved. Obviously there are people in the world who like them, because there they are, in every grocery store every December. I just have never met one of those folks. Ever. In any of the ten states I've lived.
So, here is my answer. It contains normal fruit. It is nutless (though that is just for my family's preference...you could add lots of chopped walnuts or pecans and it would be lovely.) It is alcohol free (however, I imagine that could be remedied, too, if you want ;-)).
Fruitcake That Won't Go Uneaten:
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup dried plums, chopped
1 cup golden raisins
2 cups orange or apple juice, divided (you can substitute brandy or bourbon for half)
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp rum, brandy or vanilla extract
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
In a small saucepan, combine the dried fruit and 1 cup juice. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat and let soak. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, oil, water, vanilla and remaining cup of juice. Combine the dry ingredients, including the sugar and mix into the egg mixture. Fold in the fruit and optional nuts. Divide into 2 loaf pans and bake at 350 for 50-65 minutes (or until tests done).
Now, let me tell you why there are no pictures. I had a sinus infection for a week or so prior to this week. On Wednesday, all of a sudden it went to my eye. By Thursday, when I finally got to the doctor, it had developed into not only a terrible case of conjunctivitis, but also a periorbital cellulitis, meaning my face was swollen from my eyebrow to my cheek, purple and watery. I was put on a heavy duty antibiotic and then sent to an opthamologist on Friday and given a topical antibiotic eye drop, too. My eye responded immediately and though it is still a bit pink, is no longer visibly swollen. Anyway, the whole experience, along with 1)having the Comedian home sick for two days, 2)then cutting himself pretty badly on Saturday 3) having to still play the organ at a church creche display on both Friday and Saturday 4) arguing with the almost-impossible-to-live-with 16 year old Musician about his choice of friends, activities at a certain party he attended, and 5) more, made me a little more harried than usual when I baked these. The results: I added 4 eggs instead of 2 and the texture became more of a tea cake instead of a dense fruitcake. Although I have made tons of these luscious cakes, under pressure, I messed up. So there it is. No photo. No fruitcake.
My head is bowed in disappointment.