It’s Christmas Eve and I thought I’d dive into something you might be curious about… Fruitcake. I’ve always wanted to make one but I’ve also been seriously grossed out by the look and the stories!
“There is only one fruitcake in the entire world and people keep passing it around.” – Johnny Carson
I’m going to include a healthy Fruitcake recipe I tried from @moniquecormacknutrition and it’s pretty amazing and has ingredients that are good for you if you have PCOS. It also isn’t a traditional fruitcake full of sugar and alcohol that will last 25 years. It’s meant to be eaten right away!
However here is a little fruitcake history to get you in the mood before Christmas! Some people will make a fruitcake every year that’s meant to be eaten the next year! One family has a fruitcake that is 130 years old (it’s now a family heirloom) and will not be eaten.
The history of fruitcake goes back to a 2000 year old recipe from ancient Rome. This fruitcake had pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins mixed into a cake made out of barley mash. Yum… Later in the Middle Ages, fruitcakes were made with honey, preserved fruit and spices. In Europe during the 1700’s a ceremonial fruitcake was baked at the end of the nut harvest and saved and eaten the next year to celebrate the beginning of the next harvest.
So how does this work with Christmas? It’s actually an American tradition to eat fruitcake around the holidays (goodness knows it’s in every Christmas Novel I’ve read) stemmed from the British tradition when dessert was sometimes called Christmas Cake. Fruitcake was very popular in Victorian England when it became part of celebrating holidays and weddings.
Fun fact: Both Princess Diana and Kate Middleton served fruitcakes at their wedding.
Now for your fun and healthy PCOS fruitcake which will pair perfectly with some coffee. Remember you can mix a scoop of S’moo in your hot coffee and really help out that hormone balancing for Christmas! Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes Makes 1 Cake
- 2 cups mixed dried fruits
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1 orange
- 1 1/4 cups almond flour/meal
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp mixed spice *
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 5 eggs
- 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup amaretto or other liqueur of choice (optional)
- 2 tbsp honey or other liquid sweetener
- 2 tbsp amaretto or other liqueur of choice
- Start by soaking the fruit. Fill your kettle and pop it on to boil while you organize all the dried fruit into a large bowl. If you’re using larger fruit like dates and apricots, roughly chop them up first. Pour the hot water over the fruit and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to soften and then drain and allow to cool to room temperature (get on with your cake prep while this is happening).
- Preheat your oven to 300 F. Line a 8″ cake tin with baking paper along the base and sides.
- Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Zest the orange and roughly chop the walnuts, and add the zest and walnuts to the bowl too. Keep the orange.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter (or coconut oil), vanilla and amaretto. Squeeze in the juice of the orange (doesn’t matter if some pulp goes in).
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually stir in the wet mixture, stirring as you go (coconut flour is very absorbent so it’s better to add it gradually). You should end up with a very thick batter, almost like a wet crumbly dough.
- Make sure your soaked fruit is well drained, and then add this to the cake batter. Fold it in with a spoon until combined evenly.
- Scoop the cake batter in to your lined baking tin and press down with your fingers or the back of a spoon until there are no gaps and the top is smooth.
- Bake the cake for between 60 – 70 minutes, or until the top is well browned and the center feels firm to touch.
- If you’re going to glaze the cake, do so immediately while the cake is hot, brushing on your glaze of choice with a pastry brush. You can also poke a few holes in the cake and then drizzle it over, if you want to use a lot and really soak the cake. To use the glaze I have suggested above, simply heat up the honey so it’s really runny, mix with the amaretto and then brush over the top of the cake.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. (Store in the fridge for about 1 week or freeze for a longer life.)