The ruminations of an artist on art & quilts, beading, knitting, drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking are all my passions, I love to explore creating....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mrs. Cullen's Christmas Cake

I have discovered over the years that "family" recipes that have been cherished and handed down from generation to generation are the very best tasting foods--especially when it comes to cookies and cakes and other goodies. So, whenever I can, I collect those recipes--especially recipes for holiday cookies, breads, and cakes.

My friend Patrice---a wonderful harpist and singer (check out her website here)--- shared this old family recipe for her Grandmother's Christmas Cake with me. Patrice brought some of this "Christmas Cake" to my annual Solstice Gathering last year and it was so delicious I asked her for the recipe.

This recipe uses ample amounts of dried fruits and spices....for a moist and flavorful cake-like bread loaf.


2# raisins
1/2 # mixed dried fruit
4 oz. dried figs
1/4 # almonds
3 rings dried pineapple
1/2 # dried cherries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 # butter
7 eggs, well beaten
4 cups flour

1/2 cup molasses
1/2 tsp. soda added to the molasses
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp. each allspice, mace, cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 cups milk or water
1/2 cup lemon juice
flavouring (optional: almond or brandy)

Puff dried fruits in a small amount of boiling water (drain well). Dredge the fruits in 1/2 cup flour. Cream sugar and butter; beat in eggs. Add soda to molasses, lemon juice and remaining water or milk; mix spices with the flour. Add alternately to butter mixture, stir in fruits.

Cook in lined pans ( I lined the bottom of each pan with greased parchament paper) at 275F. A large bread pan will take about 3 hrs 15 mins. Divided in half the cakes will take about 2hrs. and 15 mins.

These cakes will store for months--in fact Patrice wrote : " I usually make the cakes at Hallow'en and set them aside in a cool place to age until Christmas."

Todays Quote:

"Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'."

~ Bing Crosby (1904-1977), American singer and film actor.

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