Grandma Elizabeth's Magic Fruit Cake

Thursday, December 17, 2015

This recipe is one that was created by our Grandma Elizabeth many years ago.  And we Harris Sisters grew up on this magic fruit cake at Christmastime.  I still make it every year, and even the fruit cake critics in my family have come around to my way of thinking.  You see, this fruit cake is so unlike any other fruit cake you've ever tried, it's likely to convert even the strongest hold out in your group too!

Grandma Elizabeth's Magic Fruit Cake

16 oz pecan halves
16 oz red candied cherries
7 oz  bag of coconut
16 oz dates (I usually substitute 8 oz candied pineapple and 8 oz green candied cherries for the dates)
2 cans condensed milk

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a tube pan with parchment paper and spray liberally with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients until well blended.  Make a wish while you are stirring; that's the "magic" part of this recipe.  So don't forget!
  4. Bake for 1 hour or until coconut and pecans are toasty brown.
  5. Cool for 15 minutes in pan before flipping onto a wire cooling rack.
This is Grandma Elizabeth's actual recipe, written in her handwriting, with notes made by me.  She was an excellent cook.  It's one of the things she is best known for.  I'm so glad we have her old recipes.

This fruit cake recipe is unlike almost every other.  It's not so much a "cake" (note the lack of flour) as a very sticky candy held together with condensed milk.  So it is critical that you use both parchment paper as well as cooking spray if you want to be able to release the cake from it's pan.  However, it does release very simply if you make sure to use both.
This recipe makes one large fruit cake in a tube pan or two loaf pans, and can be easily halved if desired.  Cooking time will vary depending on the size and type of pan you use so check periodically to ensure you don't overcook your fruit cake.

And I leave you with this image.  Last year was Lexi's first Christmas, and of course, her first turn at wishing on the fruit cake.  Here she is in action.  I love family traditions, but never more than at Christmas.


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