Jamaica Light Fruitcake
~ Patty ~
This is Patty’s response to the question “where did the Aunt Eva’s Mud Hen Bar’s recipe come from?”.
The recipe is from my Mary Hart Favorite Recipes published in 1979. She was the Food Editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for many years. It is one of my FAVORITE cookbooks. I have yet to find one of her recipes that hasn’t become one of our favorites as well!
Some of you may remember she came out to our house to interview me about getting you to eat your lunch. I served her my Jamaican Fruit Cake. Our picture appeared in the paper with our cowboy hats and I was strumming my ukulele. We were singing “Polly Wolly Doodle All The Day” I was pregnant with Sean, so the picture was of Kevin, JP, Mary and Katy.
Food does bring back memories, doesn’t it?
You could let that fruit soak forever and it wouldn’t hurt it, so I just started the process the day after Thanksgiving and soaked and stirred it until I was ready to bake fruitcake.
For the final wrapping I remember wrapping it in rum-soaked something….was it cheesecloth?….for many weeks. When I served it to Mary Hart, it was way too early for it to have blended flavors. But, what can you do, she came over on December 4th and I had just made the fruitcake before Thanksgiving.
I’ll bet it would be good with craisins substituted for the currants. We didn’t have craisins in 1964.
Jamaica Light Fruitcake
From Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cookbook
makes 10 pounds of cake
1 pound currants
1 pound prunes
1 pound dates
1 pound seedless raisins
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups rum
6 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
8 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Wash the currants and prunes and dry. Pit the prunes and dates and cut them into small pieces. Mix all the fruits with the wine and rum and let stand three days, stirring every day. We put ours in a large, gallon size, Ziploc bag and just turned it over every day until we were ready to bake.
2. Preheat oven to slow (300 degrees F.)
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
4. Cream the butter, add the sugar and cream well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture gradually, stirring until blended. Fold in the prepared fruit and liquor.
5. Grease four 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/4 inch loaf pans, line with waxed paper and grease the paper. Fill not more than three-quarters full with the batter.
6. Place a shallow pan of hot water on the bottom of the oven; place the cakes on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake about three hours. Remove the pan of water thirty minutes before the cakes are done.
7. Remove the cakes with the paper and place on a rack to cool. Wrap in fresh waxed paper or aluminum foil and store in an airtight container in a cool place. Allow at least two weeks, preferably longer, for aging.