This is the recipe that my grandmother brought with her when she and her family left Russia in the early 1900’s. As a child around the 1920’s or so, while living on a farm in Pennsylvania which at that time there were a great amount of people coming from Europe, you needed to be able to do things for yourself. She learned from her mother how to make a most delicious white fruit cake, a white fruitcake is a fruitcake that does not have any molasses, molasses which is very bitter, not having the molasses in the fruitcake gives it a lighter color, this gives it the name white fruitcake.
This fruitcake in the days in which my mother lived as a child with her parents was only made during Christmas because the only time you could get walnuts, cherries, and some other ingredient’s was in the fall of the year. Remember now they didn’t go to the store to buy what they needed, they had to grow them. Raisins were dried by the people themselves, they even had to shell their own walnuts, and candy their own cherries, and such the pineapple and coconut I do believe they must have purchased.
To keep with tradition the only time of the year that I make or sell this fruitcake is during the Christmas holidays, and in my mind you cannot get a better fruitcake.
Here we go now gather up your ingredient’s and set them on your table, all ingredient’s need to be at room temperature.
- 1 pound butter
- 12 eggs
- 1-pound sugar
- 1 pound flour all-purpose
- 1 pound white raisins
- 1 pound walnut meats or almonds
- 1-pound red and green candied cherries
- 1-pound bakers flaked coconut
- 1-pound candies pineapple
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in 1/4-cup warm water
- 2 cups brandy–any brand
Soak the raisins, walnuts, cherries, coconut and pineapple with 2 cups brandy overnight in a stainless steel bowl.
In a 5 quart mixing bowl cream butter and sugar, then add eggs slowly, then add your flour and blend well, add the baking soda and water and mix a minute more, add all other ingredients and mix until well blended.
Now you are going to bake it in 2 pound pan, or in the pan of your choice, foil or hard pan, line the pan with wax paper or baking paper or better yet a pan liner the size of the pan.
For 2 pound pan:
Place 1 pound 12 ounces of the mixture in the pan and level it with a spoon, don’t bang it on the table.
Bake it at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes depends on your oven and how brown you want it. It’s done when a pick is placed in the center and it comes out clean.
Let it cool on a rack for a while and then sprinkle it with 1 ounce of brandy and then another ounce when it is cool and then pack it away for about 3 days in your refrigerator and then enjoy.
Andrew Krause is a Chef and Pastry Chef for over 30 years.