"There's a little bit of fruitcake left in every one of us…"

by Katie Pizzuto on December 16, 2008

in Cooking,fruitcake,Uncategorized

fruitcakeAsk people what their favorite holiday is, and the answer you are most likely to get is either Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s usually followed by a litany of reasons why it tops their list of days to be unshackled from their office desk, including: I enjoy gathering with loved ones and sharing a meal, I have so much to be thankful for, I love giving much more than receiving, Christmas is all about the children, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam. I don’t like waiting for the federal government to tell me when I should roast a turkey or give a generous gift, and celebrating the year’s harvest at the end of November makes me wonder who was riding the short bus when they slated the damned feast fest. But the only thing I once detested more than scheduled merriment and scripted gift giving was the gastronomic Trojan horse known as the fruitcake. Dense enough to plug a leaking levee and sweet enough to cure an entire nation’s worth of hypoglycemia, the fruitcake truly was, in my mind, better to give than to receive.

In theory, what could be better than a spiced cake with dried fruit and nuts that has been doused so repeatedly with alcohol that it becomes a fire hazard? But any fruitcake I ever laid eyes on made my teeth hurt. And like a dolt I would try them anyway, green shiny cherries included—that whole morbid curiosity thing and all, I guess. Most friends dare each other to do simple shit like funnel a six of beer or moon a nun, but we used the fruitcake as the double-dog-dare ultimatum, which is pretty sad. In essence, it’s the ultimate fuck-you gift. The gift that says, “ I couldn’t be bothered. I loathe you. This is all you’re worth to me.” And from the recipient’s POV, it’s easily grounds for disownment, outcasting, excommunication or, at the very least, a session of Chinese water torture. Unfortunately, its cousin twice removed, the panettone, was equally as revolting and similarly maligned. But I am the bringer of redemption—the harbinger of taste—the savior of saveur. I have seen the promise land, and I tell you resolutely that it serves fruitcake.

How much would you love me if I gave you a recipe for fruitcake that beckoned loved ones to worship at your feet? And what if I gave you two recipes? What then? What would it be worth to walk into a party, hand the host a fruitcake completely without irony, and declare that the dessert has gotten a bum rap over the years, but YOU have single-handedly redeemed it? Hmmm? Take all the credit…go ahead, it’s OK, I don’t care. But if I hear you’ve been adding green candied cherries to these recipes, I’m sending the hounds out after you, got it?

Kick Ass Fruitcake
Kick Ass Chocolate Fruitcake

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barbara December 16, 2008

Fruitcake with cocoa powder and coffee liqueur sounds good, but prunes? No thanks.

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2 Katie Pizzuto December 16, 2008

Never say never, Barbara…. Trust me and just TRY!!!

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3 Thom Calabrese December 17, 2008

Can’t I just have a shot and a beer….. okay it is a “fruit” cake,I’ll eat a banana too.
I would never doubt you oh goddess of the culinary yums but fruit cake?
Looking at you…..askance,astonished and astounded even.
Have a great holiday everyone!

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4 Katie Pizzuto December 17, 2008

Ever the doubting “Thom” I see! T’would be your loss, my friend, for I am known widely for getting people to eat things they thought they hated!!! Have a couple of shots and beers, so you get to the point of saying WTF, and give the recipes a try!!

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5 Linsey December 17, 2008

Fruit cakes are popular in the UK – personally im not a huge fan of the rich dark traditional one – I much prefer a lighter one with juicy dried fruit, almonds and pieces of apple in.

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6 Katie Pizzuto December 17, 2008

You should give the regular recipe a try then, Linsey…it’s not dark and dense.

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7 Linsey December 17, 2008

must remember to buy those american standard sized measuring cups while im over there – repeats to myself a million times

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8 Ron Washam, HMW December 17, 2008

Katie, I AM the fruitcake at family holiday gatherings. And, yes, I am very dense.

Merry Christmas!

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9 Thom Calabrese December 17, 2008

Katie,we are like two peas from the same pod! That is often my advice to people as well. Drink your favorite dram,repeat until you want fruit cake or don’t care so you’ll even eat the box!
I want my head stone to read”here lies Thom, a man that wasn’t afraid to try anything,except **** sucking and suicide”!
I will try it!
Ciao

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10 Mutineer Magazine December 17, 2008

As soon as I saw the word “fire hazard” I was really into this blog – we all know the Mutineers love fire.

And then to reach the end of the blog to realize that things are only going to get better, with two recipes with “Kick Ass” in the title.

These recipes are definitely Mutineer approved.

Thanks for sharing Katie.

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11 Coupe 60 December 17, 2008

Katie, First of all everybody knows that the Government scheduled Thanksgiving when they did so that it would kick off the Holiday shopping season. Having Black Friday in early September would have made no sense…

Second, We would love you even without Fruitcake recipes

Third, I like when you use dirty words in your blog…

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12 Katie Pizzuto December 17, 2008

Awww, shucks, Coupe…you’ve made me blush. Next time, can you please make me rosé?

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13 Linsey December 17, 2008

what is it about the rich fruit cake that americans dont seem to like?

I know its a pretty solid cake – but you only eat a bit at a time and if done properly its should be really moist

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14 Katie Pizzuto December 18, 2008

Linsey, Americans don’t tend to like things that are dense because they serve as a horrifying, self-awareness mirror 😉

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15 Linsey December 18, 2008

RLMFAO!!

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16 John December 18, 2008

I guess I’ll return the fruitcake I got you for Christmas. 🙂

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17 smokenmirrors December 18, 2008

interesting recipe but I dont think that it changes my opinion of the cake

however I do like the song!

Fruitcakes in the kitchen
Fruitcakes on the street
Struttin’ naked through the cross walk
In the middle of the week

Half baked cookies in the oven
Half baked people on the bus
There’s a little bit of fruitcake left in everyone of us

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18 Katie Pizzuto December 18, 2008

One of my favorite Jimmy songs too, Mike…my favorite is Everybody’s Got a Cousin in Miami off the same album.

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19 smokenmirrors December 18, 2008

He did the Fruitcake album back to back with Barometer Soup not sure which I like more

Say hi to my cousin in Miami next week!

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20 Funnel Cake Recipe January 7, 2009

I love prunes but have never thought to add them to cakes. Thanks for the idea, I’ll give it a go as soon as renovations are finished and I have a kitchen back.

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