The post title is from Truman Capote, in A Christmas Memory.
My fruitcake recipe, done cupcake style, with chocolate chips even, because yum.
Eater had a piece last week entitled Fruitcake Season is now upon Us: Making the the holiday-appropriate dessert is a boozy two-month process that you need to begin right now
The idea is, you’re going to want it to soak in the alcohol, then, well, give it more to drink as you go along. Amanda Hesser in the NYT wrote in the Good Fruitcake recipe that:
AH/NYT: In a good fruitcake the batter should barely be perceptible, acting merely as adhesive to bind the fruit and nuts.
Me: Okay, actually we’re making a fruitcake here, not a crabcake. The batter should be delectable. It’s a cake, we want cake. Studded with lots of goodness, yes, but the batter doesn’t function as a glue, it functions as added yumminess.
AH/NYT: Broken down into its parts, a good fruitcake contains ingredients that most people love: plump dates, candied cherries, almond extract, pecans, walnuts and sugar.
Me: I’m not a date person (except in sticky toffee pudding). Maybe you’re not a candied cherry person. The thing about fruitcake is you put in what tastes good to you, when it comes out it’s a fruitcake (albeit victim of jokes) that tastes incredible. Leave out the dates, put in golden raisins if you like that kind of thing. How about — I love doing this — dried pineapple rehydrated with some whiskey. You do you.
AH/NYT: And when it comes out of the oven, it is showered in whiskey.
Me: Ha, no disagreement here.
AH/NYT: This is by no means an inexpensive cake to make, and that is largely why it became a traditional gift. It is a cake that you wouldn’t make for yourself. It is a treat.
Me: It is a treat, but I’d like us to all consider reframing that things are so good we wouldn’t make/keep/buy/enjoy things that are wonderful (but yes, make a delicious one for a friend). This goes back to a sermon Rabbi Glusman gave one HH about someone having expensive china/crystal that they kept displayed rather than enjoy because it was so beautiful and precious. In an earthquake, it was ruined. Takeaway: use the good china, wear the special jewelry, eat the fruitcake. Remember that, always.
Don’t miss Sweet as Sugar, Rude as Hell at Bitter Southerner, on an interview with Truman’s aunt Marie Rudisill
…if we talk fruitcake, we can’t go without A Christmas Memory
and the 2021 Fruitcake Festival in Capote’s Monroeville hometown is this weekend, Nov 13-14.