I am intrigued by fruitcake. Fruitcake was not part of my family’s holiday baked good repertoire growing up, so to me, it has a certain “mystique.” (I’m sure I’m giving it too much credit here, but humor me). All I know about fruitcake is that it’s often the butt of many a yuletide joke and resembles an odd, jelly-like brick. I guess you can say I’m “mystified” why anyone would willingly eat a slice–fruitcake doesn’t offer much by way of presentation. Or, perhaps I’ve seen one too many ugly fruitcakes on sale at “Giant.”
Pinterest gave me the urge to demystify fruitcake. I came across a Christmas Fruitcake recipe on Fun and Food Cafe, and the fruitcake captured in the blog’s pictures certainly didn’t look like any fruitcake I had seen before (namely, the supermarket). The blog inspired me to give fruitcake a try, although, with several modifications….
1. What on earth is Golden Syrup? (Is that a British thing?) I hope honey is a suitable replacement.
2. I couldn’t find candied cherries or lemon peel anywhere, but I did find candied ginger. I also increased the quantity of fruit and juice. (I’m assuming I like my fruitcake fruity.)
3. Of course, I substituted the all-purpose flour with my go-to gluten-free baking mixture.
4. Clean Eating strikes again. No white sugar or light corn syrup. Just more honey.
Now, the end result is not a traditional fruit cake, but I’m okay with that. I got the idea, and I’m sure you will as well.
P.S. The candied ginger is my favorite part.
Not Your Grandma’s Fruitcake
Yield: Two dozen muffins and one loaf
2 cups golden raisins
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup candied ginger, coarsely chopped (preferably not crystalized; I found a bag at Trader Joe’s in the trail mix section)
1 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
2 cups apple cider (or apple juice if cider is not available)
1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons rum extract
1 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
3 3/4 cups gluten-free flour mix**
1 cup soy milk
**Carol Fenster’s Sorghum Blend Mix (Yield: 4 cups)
Combine and store the following in an air-tight container for up to 3 months:
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch or cornstarch
1 cup tapioca flour
1. Combine the fruit in a shallow pie dish and pour apple cider over the fruit. Cover and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Pre-heat oven to 300 degree F. Lightly grease loaf pans and/or muffin tins with cooking spray.
3. In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine yogurt, butter, honey, xanthan gum, nutmeg, and salt. Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each egg.
4. Slowly add the flour mix, followed by the soy milk.
5. Gently fold in the fruit mixture (including the remaining juice) using a spatula.
6. If you are using a loaf pan, fill batter 3/4 to the top (the bread does not rise much). If using muffin tins, fill 1/2 to 3/4 way full.
7. Bake loaf pans for 60-65 minutes, and muffins for 30–a toothpick will come out clean when done. (Caution: The loaf/muffins do not get golden brown on top, even when cooked through).
7. Remove fruitcake from pans and cool on a wire rack. (These taste great still warm!)