Dried fruits and sweet spiced baked goods are the tastes of the season, from rugelach with apricots to sweet breads with raisins and, of course, the quintessential holiday treat-- the fruitcake.
Fruitcakes have gotten a bad rap over the years, especially on sitcoms, but I'm not sure why. Anyone who presents someone with a fruitcake on television is always portrayed as seriously lame or at the very least flawed, and it is true: there are some bad fruitcakes out there. But anyone who has enjoyed a really good one knows that it's one of the best homemade treats to get when it's done right.
Most traditional fruitcake recipes contain a lot of butter, so I came up with this Dairy-Free Fruitcake Recipe that sacrifices the dairy without the flavor. In fact, I've given this one out enough to know that no one even misses the butter.
The nice thing about a fruitcake is that there is room for creativity; you can select the fruits, nuts and flavors that you like the most. I love dried cherries and candied ginger, so these are always a part of my cake, along with pecans and sometimes walnuts. One of the keys to a good fruitcake is to give it a little bit of time--about two weeks--during which it is brushed or spritzed every two to three days with brandy to keep it moist. This Saturday will be the two week mark until Christmas is here, so if you're planning on making a Dairy-Free Fruitcake this season, anytime between now and next week is a good time to do so! Happy Baking!
Photo © 2007 Ashley Adams, licensed to About.com, Inc.