The last few days have been a rush of interesting events and creative adventures, the most notable of which was baking seventeen fruitcakes on Sunday! Nine big fruitcakes and eight small ones. I was seriously worried that they wouldn’t all fit in the oven, but somehow I managed to cram them in there. I kept rotating them so they would bake evenly, and all was well in the end. Today I need to get them out of the pans and begin the long, slow process of drenching them in booze.
Here are some photos from the fruitcake factory.
I started by chopping the eighteen pounds of additions – a daunting task! Here’s seven pints of candied citrus peels, just a small part of what I started with:
I had to chop them into pieces no bigger than half an inch on a side. Like this:
After that, it was a simple matter of chopping up another 11 pounds of candied cherries, slivered almonds, candied ginger, dates, figs, dried persimmons, dried apricots, and dried pineapple. (Plus almost two pounds of shredded coconut, but that didn’t need chopping.)
Here I’m adding the last of the fruitcake additions, the shredded coconut:
Here’s the full, mixed-up pile of yummy fruitcake additions, sprinkled with flour to keep them from sticking to each other:
Next I had to mix up seven quarts of fruitcake batter, which barely fit into my giant stand mixer. Here I am, starting to pour out the batter:
And then I dumped it in:
Next I had to mix it up. I scrubbed my hands spotlessly clean up to the elbows, and gleefully mixed the batter and the goodies into a wonderful, gloppy mess:
(I really should have tied my hair back – usually I do, but I forgot this time. I’m going to add it to my recipe so I don’t forget again!)
Finally, I put the fruitcakes into the oven:
And here are the baked fruitcakes:
They aren’t ready to eat yet, of course! First they will have to be sprinkled with liquor, a little bit each week, for six weeks. Then they need to be aged for another month or so. And then they’ll be done!
A few people have asked for my fruitcake recipe, so I’ll post it later today. Right now, I gotta get to work!