Tuesday, December 16, 2014

19th Century Recipes for Fruitcake

One pound of butter, one pound of sugar, twelve eggs, one pound of flour, one pound of currants, one pound of thinly-sliced citron, three pounds of Seeded raisins cut in pieces, one pound of chopped figs, one-half cupful of any preferred liquor, two tablespoonfuls of strained lemon juice, one-half teaspoonful of salt, two teaspoonfuls of cinnamon, one~half teaspoonful of cloves, three-quarters of a teaspoonful each of mace, allspice and nutmeg.
Dredge the prepared fruit with a little of the flour and mix the spice with the remainder. Cream the butter, gradually add the sugar and cream until light, then_slowly add the liquor beating until light and creamy. Add the beaten yolks of the eggs, then the whites; cut in the flour, add the remaining ingredients. Have the pans lined with several thicknesses of paper, turn in the batter and bake slowly in a moderate oven for from three to five hours according to the thickness of the cake. Cover with paper until half baked.
One-half pound of butter, one pound of sugar, one pint of flour, nine eggs, one and one half pounds of currants, three quarters of a pound of citron, two pounds of seeded raisins, one-quarter of a pound of blanched almonds cut into strips, one-quarter of a pound of chopped hickory nut meats, two ounces of cinnamon, one-half ounce each of nutmeg, mace and clove, one-half teaspoonful of salt, one cupful of brandy.
With regard to the points you mention we would say that a mixture of candied fruits may be used in place of a part of the fruit; they should be cut fine and should be marinated in brandy or other liquor for several hours; the kind of fruit used is a matter of individual taste; we would suggest that you make up several mixtures and then settle upon the one best liked. The same is true of liquors; various kinds of rum or a good brandy are generally used; liqueurs, such as maraschino or kirschwasser, are sometimes added as well in small quantities. Baking powder is never used in a heavy fruit cake; it makes it crumbly and spoils the soft velvety texture.
Source: Table Talk ©1899

Fruit Cake
I cannot give you a better recipe for fruit cake than you will find in my cook book. Both those recipes, like the one just given, have been used many times individually, and even under my directions in the School I have never seen a single failure.
Beat ten eggs, without separating, until very light; beat one pound of butter to a cream; warm the bowl; put in a pound of butter; cut it into blocks; then, with the back of a spoon, mash it, and then begin to beat; now add to this, gradually, one pound of granulated sugar; beat again. Have ready one and a half pounds of washed currants, one and a half pounds of raisins (stoned), three-quarters of a pound of shredded citron; mix these together and lightly flour; add to the butter and sugar first the eggs; then stir in one pound of flour, one teaspoonful of cinnamon, a half teaspoonful of ground mace, one teaspoonful of allspice, half teaspoonful of cloves, one grated nutmeg, juice and grated rind of one orange and one lemon; beat vigorously for at least five minutes. Now stir in carefully the floured fruit. Line two fruit-cake pans with greased paper (bottom and sides), pour in the mixture, and bake in a very moderate oven four hours. If you use liquor, add it to the mixture before addirg the fruit. Put one gill of brandy, and then omit the orange and lemon juice.
Source: Household News ©1894

Fruit Cake.
One pound brown sugar, one of butter* one of eggs, one of flour, two of raisins, two of currants, half pound citron, a nutmeg, tablespoon cloves, one of allspice, half pint brandy, and two tea-epoons baking-powder. After baking, while yet warm, pour over cake a half pint wine. This makes the cake delicious.—Mm Angie Skinner,
Excellent Fruit Cake.
One and a half pounds raisins, one and a fourth pounds currants, three-fourths pound citron, pound butter, pound sugar, one and a fourth pounds flour, ten eggs, two table-spoons lemon, two tea-spoons yeast powder; mix a fourth pound of the flour in the fruit.—Mrs. J. W. Grubbs,
Poor Man's Fruit Cake.
One and a half cups brown sugar, two of flour, one each of butter and chopped raisins, three eggs, three table-spoons sour milk, half tea-spoon soda, half cup blackberry jam. This is excellent as well as economical.—Mrs. J. S. Robinson,
Scotch Fruit Cake.
A cup butter, two of white sugar, four of sifted flour, threefourths cup sour milk, half tea-spoon soda, nine eggs beaten separately, one pound raisins, half pound currants, a fourth pound citron; cream the butter and sugar, add milk gradually, then beaten yolks of eggs, and lastly, while stirring in flour, the whites well whipped. Flavor with one tea-spoon lemon, and one of vanilla extract, and have raisins chopped a little, or, better still, seeded, and citron sliced thin. Wash and dry currants before using, and flour all fruit slightly. In putting cuke in pan, place first a thin layer of cake, then sprinkle in some of the three kinds of fruit, then a layer of cake, and so on, always finishing off with a thin layer of cake. Bake in a moderate oven for two hours. Tested by many and has never failed. — Mrs. J. H. Shearer.
Thanksgiving Fruit Cake.
Six pounds flour, three of butter, three and a half of sugar, an ounce mace, two glasses wine, two glasses brandy, four pounds raisins, half pound citron, six eggs, one pint yeast, small tea-spoon soda put in at last moment. After tea, take all the flour (except one plate for dredging raisins), a small piece butter, and a quart or more of milk, and mix like biscuit; then mix butter and sugar, and at nine o'clock in the evening, if sufficiently light, put one-third of butter and sugar into dough; at twelve add another third, and very early in the morning the remainder; about eleven o'clock, if light enough, begin kneading, and continue for an hour, adding meanwhile all the other ingredients. This will make seven loaves.— Mrs. Woodworth, Springfield.
Source: Practical Housekeeping ©1883

FRUIT CAKE. (Superior.)
Three pounds dry flour, one pound sweet butter, one pound sugar, three pounds stoned raisins, two pounds currants, three-quarters of a pound sweet almonds blanched, one pound citron, twelve eggs, one tablespoonful allspice, one teaspoonful cloves, two tablespoonfuls cinnamon, two nutmegs, one wineglass of wine, one wine-glass of brandy, one coffee cupful molasses with the spices in it; steep this gently twenty or thirty minutes, not boiling hot; beat the eggs very lightly; put the fruit in last, stirring it gradually, also a teaspoonful of soda dissolved in a tablespoonful of water; the fruit should be well floured; if necessary add flour after the fruit is in; butter a sheet of paper and lay it in the pan. Lay in some slices of citron, then a layer of the mixture, then of citron again, etc., till the pan is nearly full. Bake three or four hours, according to the thickness of the loaves, in a tolerably hot oven, and with steady heat. Let it cool in the oven gradually. Ice when cold. It improves this cake very much to add three teaspoonfuls of baking powder to the flour. A fine wedding-cake recipe.
Two scant teacupfuls of butter, three cupfuls of dark brown sugar, six eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately, one pound of raisins, seeded, one of currants, washed and dried, and half a pound of citron cut in thin strips; also half a cupful of cooking molasses, and half a cupful of sour milk. Stir the butter and sugar to a cream, add to that half a grated nutmeg, one tablespoonful of ground cinnamon, one teaspoonful of cloves, one teaspoonful of mace, add the molasses and sour milk. Stir all well; then put in the beaten yolks of egg, a wine-glass of brandy; stir again all thoroughly, and then add four cupfuls of sifted flour, alternately with the beaten whites of egg. Now dissolve a level teaspoonful of soda, and stir in thoroughly. Mix the fruit together, and stir into it two heaping tablespoonfuls of flour; then stir it in the cake. Butter two common sized baking tins carefully, line them with letter paper well buttered, and bake in a moderate oven two hours. After it is baked, let it cool in the pan. Afterward put it into a tight can, or let it remain in the pans and cover tightly. Best recipe of all.
—mrs. S. A. Camp, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Source: White House Cook Book ©1889

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