Although I’m not a fan of fruitcake, except for an occasional nibble of the crust, when my sister asked me a couple years ago if I’d like to make one, I said, “Yeah.” Then, last year, when she asked if I wanted to make one soaked in booze, I said, “Expletive yeah.”
So, last year, we soaked the candied fruit in brandy before preparing the cake and then, after the cake had been baked, we brushed it with more brandy. (We also made the cake a little water bed so it could benefit from even more moisture as it baked.)
All that liquid must have worked because the cake was characterized as “moist” by its adoring fans. This year, we purchased more booze and once again soaked the candied fruit in brandy. By the way, it’s been my experience that you meet some of the nicest and best looking people at liquor stores.
Anyway, if my memory is correct, last year we allowed the candied fruit to ferment overnight. This year, they soaked for several days and nights. You might want to file that tidbit away for later.
The day finally arrived and we gathered in my kitchen and prepared the cake, once again making a little water bed in the pan. With the cake safely baking in the oven, my sister left. As she made her leave, she told me to call if I needed her. I rolled my eyes until they fell out my head. After all, what kind of idiot needs help removing a cake from the oven?
It takes approximately 17 hours for a fruitcake to thoroughly bake. I walked on the treadmill, took a shower, and read War and Peace whilst it baked. (One of those is a fib.) When the skewer I inserted into the cake came out clean, I removed the cake. See, any idiot can remove a cake from the oven.
After letting it sit and settle for a bit, I attempted to transfer the cake from the pan and to a plate.
Note the use of the word “attempted.”
As soon as I touched it, it started to crumble and come apart.
I grabbed the phone, called my sister, and said, “I need you.”
Seconds later, my sister and niece arrived, announcing they had used the car’s emergency flashers. After she washed her hands for 40 seconds, my sister and I attempted to move the cake.
It seems we had made a fruitcake so moist and soaked with booze that it was stuck to the pan and the wax paper. (Yes, smarty pants, we had used generous amounts of cooking spray.) Despite our repeated efforts, the cake would hardly move and when it did move, it was like watching the ground during an earthquake.
Finally, my niece said, “Why don’t you cut it into pieces and then move it?”
My sister and I, who had been bickering over how long we had soaked the candied fruit last year, looked at each other and said, “Why don’t we do that?”
So, I grabbed a meat cleaver and we did just that.
Oh, I’ve nibbled on the fruitcake’s crust and, at the sake of bragging, it’s quite tasty. And moist. And boozy.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.