The holiday wouldn’t be complete without a fruitcake recipe! And this recipe actually doesn’t sound half bad! No candied cherries! Just good wholesome ingredients!
Take one pint of light dough; one tea-cupful of sugar; one of butter; three eggs, a teaspoonful of saleratus, one pound of raisins; nutmeg or cinnamon, to the taste, bake one hour.
Let it stand and rise a little before baked.
From The Skillful Housewife Book: The Complete Guide to Domestic Cookery by, Mrs. L. G. Abell, 1852
Fruitcake was also called “Wedding Cake” and The American Frugal Housewife published this version of the cake:
Four pounds of flour, three pounds of butter, three pounds of sugar, four pounds of currants, two pounds of raisins, twenty-four eggs, half a pint of brandy, or lemon-brandy, one ounce of mace, and three nutmegs. A little molasses makes it dark colored, which is desirable. Half a pound of citron improves it; but it is not necessary. To be baked two hours and a half or three hours.
The modern version of the above recipe is as follows:
1/2 lb. raisins
1/4 cup brandy
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon mace
2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 lb. butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons molasses to 1/2 cup
2 oz. citron
Soak raisins in brandy overnight. Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour before measuring. Sift flour with spices. Add currants and citron, if desired. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Stir in molasses and any brandy that was not absorbed by the raisins. Stir in sifted flour with spices and fruits. Grease two 5″ x 9″ loaf pans, three 8-inch round pans, or one 10-inch tube pan. Pour batter into greased pans and bake about 45 minutes to an hour.
The above translation was provided by Old Sturbridge Village (from their Christmas by Candlelight program). I can attest to this recipe. It’s really quite good!