Tis the Season for baking fruitcake!
So, despite all the jokes, it ’tis the season for Fruitcake once again! In Independence CA, an annual festival called ‘All things Fruitcake‘ chooses a Fruitcake King to eat a slice of the fruitcake from when the festival began in 2005 (yes, it might STILL be good?). Shortly after the holidays, a Fruitcake Toss is held in Manitou Springs, CO to compete for the title of Fruitcake King or Queen (not sure how those pieces of fruitcake taste?). Our grocery store baking isles are laden with candied cherries, orange peel and dried fruits and in the USA, the bad jokes about giving fruit cake begin to be told. Regardless of whether you love or hate fruitcake it is a season of giving, abundance and bounty! – and yes. despite the bad press, fruitcake is traditional, and delicious…try it and see!
The Winter Solstice Celebration marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year. It’s the promise that nature will again bear fruit and care for all living things. Giving fruits in the bleak mid winter at a time of scarcity was a sacrifice and redistributed bounty within a community.
Many of us (especially those of us with Celtic and Irish roots) are also baking plum puddings and fillings for mince pies. Here is my recipe for homemade mincemeat (the delicious filling for my annual pies).
Sweet Mincemeat (recipe makes 4 Lbs)
- 8 oz currants
- 8oz raisins
- 8 oz sultanas
- 8 oz dried apricots (chopped)
- 8 oz (glazed cherries)
- 4 oz fruit and peel mix
- 2 oz chopped almonds
- 8 oz soft brown sugar
- 2 oz butter (melted)
- 2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 oranges (juice and zest)
- ¼ pint brandy
- ¼ pint of sherry
How to make it:
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together and cover over with plastic wrap. Leave overnight.
The following day mix all the ingredients to combine. Spoon in to sterilized jars.
Mincemeat will keep for up to 2 months
Enjoy the Season!
Judith, The Shamrock and Peach