Julia Child's Fruitcake
#1
 
Does anyone here possess a copy of "From Julia Child's Kitchen"?  If so I would be extremely grateful for the fruitcake recipe which it contains, and so I'm sure would be anyone else who used it.  I've owned that book twice in my life and lost it twice while moving.  Now I've searched the used bookstores of New York unsuccessfully. 
 
The basic idea of the recipe is this: take a huge quantity of nuts and dried fruits, macerate in a combination of rum and brandy for several days.  Then add flour, eggs, brown sugar, molasses, and lots of spices (included instant coffee).  Bake in loaf pans (the recipe makes several loaves) at a fairly low temperature for a fairly long time (two or three hours?) after baking, cool, and pour more brandy and/or rum over the top until the cakes are as moist as one wants.  Decorate the tops of the loaves with a row of halved maraschino cherries running down the middle and pecan halves in rows on either side, and glaze.  Fanatical fruitcake-haters have changed their minds after eating this cake. 
 
I think I could improvise the ingredients without a recipe but the baking time and temperature is difficult.  I've improvised several times but it's never as good as when I follow the recipe exactly and one year when I did that I burned them--considering the price of vast quanitities of fruit, nuts, and liquor, that's not a mistake I want to repeat!
 
Thank you to anyone who can help with this.
Reply
#2
My mom made a similar sounding recipe this year. I will get it from her and post it here. Hopefully it will be the same one :)
Reply
#3
From the first site listed on a google search: http://boards.epicurious.com/message.jspa?messageID=567009&tstart=0   MRS. CHILD'S FAMOUS STICKY CAKE
Source: From Julia Child's Kitchen by Julia Child, Pp.583, 584, 585

THE FRUIT and NUT MIXTURE:
To be macerated 12 hours
4 lbs diced mixed glaceed fruits: parts of these may be diced dried dates, pitted tenderized dried prunes or apricots, or raisins, or currants
1 lb (2 cups) prepared storebought mincemeat
1 lb mixed unsalted whole or chopped nut meats (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, filberts)
2/3 cup dark jamaican rum
1/3 cup Cognac or Bourbon
1 tbsp instant coffee (espresso coffee suggested)
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp each: cinnamon, cloves, allspice, mace
1 1/2 tsp salt
THE DRY INGREDIENTS:
31/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp double action baking powder
THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS:
2 sticks butter
2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp vanilla
6 large eggs
OPTIONAL DECORATION AFTER BAKING:
1 to 1 1/2 cups apricot glaze (apricot jam pushed through a sieve, boiled to the thread stage (228 degrees) with 2 tbsp sugar per cup of strained jam
12 or so glazeed cherries
12 whole pecans or walnut halves

Turn the candied fruits into a very large mixing bowl, pour on boiling water to cover, stir for 20 to 30 seconds, drain thoroughly. Return fruit to bowl, add the mincemeat, nuts, liquors, instant coffee, molasses, spices and salt; stir about. Cover airtight and let macerate for 12 hours or longer.

Stir half the flour into the fruits and nuts, sprinkle over the baking powder and the rest of the flour and stir to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together in a separate bowl until light and fluffy, beat in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating 30 seconds after the addition of each egg. Blend the egg-sugar mixture into the fruits.

Preheat the oven to 275F. Butter you cake pan or pans, line bottom with wax paper, butter that, roll flour around in the pan to coat the interior and knock out excess flour.

Turn the batter into the pan, filling it to within 1/4 inch of the rim (and mold any extra cake mixture in a muffin tin).

Bake in the middle of the oven for 2 to 2 3/4 hours or longer, depending on size and shape of pan. Cake will rise about 1/4 inch and top will crack in several places. It is done when it shows the faintest line of shrinkage around edge of pan in several places; a skewer, plunged down into cake through a crack, should come out clean. remove cake from oven and place pan on a rack to cool to 20-25 minutes; cake should shrink a little more from sides, showing that it is ready to unmold.

Turn cake upside down on rack and give a little shake to unmold. Peel paper off bottom and turn right side up.

If you wish additional cognac, bourbon or rum, pour a spoonful or two over the cake 2 or 3 times as it cools.

When cold, wrap in plastic, then in foil and store in a cool place. Will keep for months and flavor mature with age.

OPTIONAL DECORATION:
Paint the top and sides with warm apricot glaze. Press halved glazed cherries and nut meats into the glaze and for a loaf cake, make a line of cherries down the center, flanked on either sides by nut meats.

Paint a second coating of glaze over the fruits and the top of the cake. Let set for 1/2 hour at least, allowing the glaze to dry and lose its stickiness.   Hope that helps! :) -Robin
Reply
#4
 
Wow!  The internet is amazing, and fisheaters is even more amazing.  I spend weeks wandering from one used bookstore to another, unsuccessfully hoping to find a copy of an old cookbook.  Then I spend hours in my old packed away boxes in case I hadn't lost the book after all.  Then finally I post here hoping someone has the recipe.  Fifteen minutes later, it occurs to me to check what googling "Julia Child's Fruitcake" turns up, and I find the recipe on epicurious.  I return to fisheaters to post the good news, and find that someone has already done so!  Thank you Spooky and Catheotimus!  I should have checked google first, but perhaps posting here has helped share the recipe with others.
 
Reading the recipe reminds me of several experiments I've tried in the past: Using dark brown sugar instead of white sugar; adding orange marmalade; using whole wheat flour instead of white flour.  Also, I always use twice the quantity of spices which Child suggests; half teaspoons don't add a huge amount of flavour when distributed among several loaves.  For economy's sake, if I don't happen to have several liquors at home, I sometimes just choose either rum, bourbon, or cognac and use only that in the fruitcake and my eggnog, rather than buying two different liquors. 
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)