Sunday, December 18, 2005
My mother's fruit cake
Fruit and Cheese Bread
The Ugly Binder, originally from one of my mother’s cookbooks, title unknown
1 cup butter or margarine
1 8-oz package of cream cheese
1 ½ c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 ¼ c. flour
2 t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
1 c. candied cherries, cut into pieces I use red and green cherries
1 c. candied pineapple, cut into pieces
1 c. nuts
¼ c. flour for dredging
Cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Dredge candied fruit and fold into batter. Bake in 2 greased loaf pans at 325 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool on rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan. Cool completely.
This isn't a very old recipe. I can remember the first time my mother made it, so it's probably been in our family for about 25 years. It's not the star of Christmas but I've always enjoyed it and would miss it if it wasn't there. This isn't what most people think of as a traditional fruitcake - it's really just a pound cake - but it's delicious and it's pretty on a cookie tray. You can vary the recipe several ways, I suppose, although I've never done so. Sometimes I make a batch without nuts - that's about as crazy as I've ever gone with this recipe myself.
I think my mother is glad that I make this now because she doesn't have to and she doesn't enjoy baking as much as I do. The other night, while I was baking this, she was spending the night in a hospital, undergoing tests to see if she had suffered a mini-stroke. Fortunately she seems to be doing okay but a lot more Christmas memories than usual were flooding through my mind as I baked this fruitcake the other night due to this.