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Soaked Fruit Cake

I get lots of requests for fruit cake recipes that, after the cake is made, it is covered with cheesecloth or something similar, and the cloth is kept moist for days or weeks with brandy or wine or grape juice. I have not had a lot of success finding such recipes. Below are what I have. If you know of one that fits the bill, please send it to me.



Fruit  Cake

 Ingredients : 
 1 1/4 c. sugar
 1 c. shortening
 6 eggs
 1/3 c. currant jelly
 4 c. flour for cake batter
 1/2 tsp. soda
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/3 c. grape juice
 1/2 c. figs, cut up
 1/2 lb. raisins
 1/2 lb. citron, chopped
 3/4 c. candied pineapple, chopped
 3/4 c. candied cherries, chopped
 1 c. nutmeats, chopped
 1 tsp. lemon extract
 1 tsp. orange extract
 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
 1/2 tsp. mace
 1/2 tsp. cloves
 1/2 tsp. allspice

 Preparation : 
    Cream sugar and shortening together until light and fluffy.  Add
 eggs which have been beaten slightly.  Add extracts.  Add jelly and
 stir well.  Add soda to grape juice and stir into cake batter,
 mixing well. Batter will be thin and lumpy.  Sift and measure flour,
 add spices and salt.  Add a bit of additional flour to fruits so
 they will not stick together.  Add fruits and flour to cake batter
 alternately.  This should make a medium stiff dough.  Place in pans
 which have been lined with brown paper and greased. Decorate with
 candied pineapple slices, nutmeat halves and candied cherries.  Bake
 in slow to moderate oven  until done.  Remove from pans after
 cooling slightly to racks -- leave until thoroughly cool. Wrap in
 white cloths for storage.  About every 4 to 5 days spoon 1 to 2
 tablespoons red cooking wine over each cake so they will get moist.
 Cakes should be made about 1 month before Christmas.  Store in a dry
 Dark  Fruit  Cake

 Ingredients : 
 1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
 3 c. flour
 2 tsp. salt
 1 tsp. allspice
 1 c. grape juice
 4 eggs, separated
 1 tsp. baking powder
 1 tbsp. cinnamon
 1 tsp. cloves
 1 c. butter, melted

 Preparation : 
    Toss together in large bowl with 1 cup flour and set aside. 8 oz.
 candied pineapple, diced 16 oz. fruit cake mix 8 oz. candied
 cherries, halved 1 c. dark raisins 4 c. nuts, chopped   Mix brown
 sugar and egg yolks; beat 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer.  Sift
 2 cups flour with other dry ingredients, then add to egg yolk
 mixture alternately with grape juice.  Fold in stiffly beaten egg
 whites.  Add fruit and nut mixture to batter along with melted
 butter and mix well.  Press into 2 loaf pans lined with waxed paper.
  Bake at 275 degrees about 3 1/2 - 4 hours.  Cool 20 minutes then
 remove from pans.  Soak cheese cloth with apricot brandy and wrap
 around cakes.  Wrap in aluminum foil and season for 3 weeks in cool
 place.  Slice thin
 Fruit  Cake      

 Ingredients : 
 6 eggs
 2 c. browned sugar (brown in iron skillet in oven)
 2 c. sugar
 2 sticks butter or oleo
 1 1/2 lb. raisins
 1 1/2 lb. currants
 1/4 lb. citron (candied fruit)
 1/4 lb. candied pineapple
 1/4 lb. candied cherries
 3/4 tbsp. allspice
 3/4 tbsp. cloves
 3/4 tbsp. cinnamon
 1/4 tbsp. nutmeg
 3/4 tbsp. baking powder
 1 tbsp. vanilla
 3/4 qt. grape juice
 3/4 lb. walnuts
 1 1/2 qt. pecans
 1/2 pt. figs
 1/2 pt. blackberry jam
 1/2 pkg. gum drops

 Preparation : 
   *This recipe has been in the family for at least 7 generations. 
 Mix all ingredients.  Pour into greased and floured tube pans.  Bake
 at 150 degrees for 2 hours or until done.  Makes 2 cakes.  Make
 these cakes in October for Christmas and wrap in cheesecloth and
 pour a little brandy on them about every 2 weeks.  Store in dry
 place in cake tins.  You may freeze them after they have aged for 2
 Fruit  Cake

 Ingredients : 
 3 c. sifted all-purpose flour
 1 lb. glazed fruit mix
 1 lb. seeded raisins
 1/2 lb. currants or you may use 1 1/2 lbs. seeded raisins
 1 lb. nut meats
 1 1/2 c. butter or margarine
 1 1/2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
 7 lg. eggs
 1/2 tsp. each:  cloves, allspice, mace
 1 tsp. each cinnamon and nutmeg
 1 c. strawberry preserves (or other
    jam or jelly)
 1/3 c. molasses (or honey) or half molasses and half honey or all honey)
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. soda (sift this with flour)
 1/3 c. sherry wine or brandy

 Preparation : 
    Soak the glazed fruit in the wine or brandy for two or three
 days.  In a large kettle put the raisins, currants, margarine,
 sugar, spices, preserves, and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring
 constantly.  Cool thoroughly and then add all the other ingredients.
  Dates may be added if desired.  Line loaf pans with two layers of
 heavy paper greasing the inside layer.  (White shelf paper or heavy
 grade typing paper).  Be sure to fit it into the corners of each pan
 and allow it to extend up over edge of pans about one inch.  Fill
 pans 2/3 full and be sure dough is down in the corners.  Bake in a
 slow oven about 300 degrees, for about 2 1/2 hours.  Large cakes
 will take nearly 3; smaller ones a little less.  Place pan of water
 in bottom of oven during baking.  Cake is done when small cracks
 appear in surface and when it feels firm when touched lightly with
 finger.  As soon as cake is removed from oven, pour about two
 tablespoons of the wine or brandy over the top.  Cool well.  Wrap in
 wax paper and store for ripening.  This cake may be ripened in the
 freezer.  Wrap it in cheesecloth soaked in brandy; then in heavy
 foil; freeze it; remove from freezer at least once for several hours
 and then return it.  The nuts cut like butter but still have a bite.
  Freezing will also permit you to use a good potent non-alcoholic
 fruit juice instead of the brandy, if you prefer.  If you use honey,
 the cake is medium light.  If you use dark molasses and grape jelly,
 it is almost black.  
 Dark  Fruit  Cake

 Ingredients : 
 5 c. all-purpose flour
 2 lbs. raisins
 1/2 lb. candied pineapple
 1/2 lb. candied orange peel
 1 lb. chopped nuts
 2 lbs. dark brown sugar
 2 lbs. currants
 1/2 lb. candied cherries
 1/2 lb. candied citron
 1/2 lb. candied lemon peel
 1 lb. butter
 10 eggs, separated
 2 c. dark colored wine
 1 tsp. each lemon & vanilla flavoring
 1 c. dark molasses, mixed with 1 tsp.
 1 tsp. each cinnamon & allspice
 2 tsp. baking powder

 Preparation : 
    Flour fruits and nuts.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add beaten egg
 Yolks, wine, flavoring and molasses.  Fold in fruit mixture.  Sift
 remaining flour with spices and baking powder; add to creamed
 mixture.  Fold in beaten egg Whites; pour into 2 greased and lined
 tube pans.  Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.  Wrap in cloth, keep
 moistened with wine.  Store in covered cake box or foil for at least
 1 month before serving.  Yield: 40 servings. 

Yellow Tomato Jam

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Agnes
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2004 1:26 PM
  Subject: yellow tomato jam

  Hello. I just happened upon your site while looking for a tamale 
  recipe and thought I'd see if you've ever heard of yellow tomato 
  jam or jelly.  My grandmother used to make and can it and I love 
  it so. She long since passed away and I'd love to learn how to 
  make my own, but have no clue and no recipe was left behind. Thanks 
  for any help you can give. 

Hello Agnes,

See below.


  Yellow  Tomato  Jam

   Ingredients : 
   2 qt. tomatoes, peeled (squeeze out as much of the juice & seeds as possible)
   2 oranges & 1 lemon, ground fine & boiled until tender

   Preparation : 
      Mix together and use about as much sugar as you have tomatoes and
   boil until thick as desired.  Very good.
   Yellow  Tomato  Jam

   Ingredients : 
   6 yellow tomatoes, chopped
   1 lemon, chopped
   1 orange, chopped
   1 tsp. nutmeg
   1/4 tsp. allspice
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/2 tsp. cinnamon
   8 c. sugar
   1 pkg. pectin

   Preparation : 
      Boil tomatoes, lemon, orange and pectin.  Add sugar and spices. 
   Bring to a hard boil for 10 minutes.  Pour into jars and seal.  Will
   take 6 weeks to set up. 

Bermuda Fish Chowder Question

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brian" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2004 5:27 PM
Subject: Fish Chowder, Bermuda style

> I have a recipe from Bermuda for a chowder that refers to units of
> measurement as Nos and nos as in 4 nos potato and 8 nos Tomato also 
> using upper case such as Nos Carrot and 1 Nos onion. Do you know 
> what unit of measurement Nos or nos represents?
> Thank you
> Brian
> Brian 

Hello Brian,

After a diligent search, I cannot find any unit of measurement called or abbreviated as "nos" or "Nos". So, here's what I think:

I'm guessing that both "nos" and "Nos" as used in your recipe are an abbreviation for "numbers of". "4 nos potatoes" means "4 numbers of potatoes", or simply "4 potatoes". "8 nos tomato" means "8 tomatoes.". "1 Nos onion" means "1 onion". I'm speculating that this is merely an archaic language style used in the old British Colony of Bermuda.


From: mike
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2013 1:03 PM
Subject: Bermuda Fish Chowder

Can Brian share his recipe for Bermuda Fish Chowder or do you have another?  I see only his question ... 

Hi Mike,

I no longer have Brianís e-mail address, so I canít contact him. I lost all of the actual e-mails from before 2008 when a computer crashed unexpectedly. However, There are several recipes on the web for Bermuda Fish Chowder, the national dish of Bermuda. To make it authentic, youíll need a couple of ingredients that might be hard to find, depending on where you live: Gosling's Black Seal Rum and Outerbridge's Original Sherry Peppers Sauce


The Bermudian

Suite 101

What's Cooking America


All Recipes


Crosse & Blackwell Date Nut Bread

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: E
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Sunday, November 28, 2004 10:37 PM
  Subject: Cross and Blackwell Date nut bread

  Last year at about this time  a writer asked if the Cross and 
  Blackwell product sold in a can was still available. Has there 
  been any info in the last year ? Thanks.

Hello ___?

Please give your first name when you write.

Apparently Crosse and Blackwell have discontinued this product. Crosse and Blackwell are a division of Smucker's, which is owned by Nestle. Both the Nestle site and the Smucker's site have listings of Crosse and Blackwell's current product line, and the date nut bread is not among them. See:

C & B and Smucker's

However, I did find a recipe that purportedly makes a similar date nut bread. See below.


  Date Nut Bread like Crosse and Blackwell: 

  About 1 pound pitted, chopped dates 
  2 t baking soda 
  2 T butter 
  2 cups hot tap water 
  1 t salt 
  2 large eggs 
  2 cups granulated sugar 
  4 cups flour 
  1 t cinnamon 
  1 t vanilla extract 
  1 cup chopped walnuts 

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease well 8 (15 ounce cans) 
  with tops removed. 

  Mix dates, baking soda, butter and water together in a large bowl; 
  let cool a bit and add remaining ingredients. 

  Fill cans halfway full. Place on a large baking sheet an bake for 
  one hour (check with a wooden tooth pick at 50 minutes because oven 
  vary so much). Leave in cans at least ten minutes before "shaking" 
  out. Finish cooling on racks. 

Cornmeal Pizza Crust

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Meredith" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2004 9:59 PM

> I'm looking for a cornmeal pizza crust recipe with baking powder as the
> leavening ingredient. Not just a wheat-flour crust dusted in cornmeal, but
> sufficient cornmeal to have the crust look like that's what it is made of.
> Thank you.
> Meredith

Hello Meredith,

See below for what I found.


Polenta  Pizza  Crust

 Ingredients :
 1 c. coarsely ground yellow cornmeal, plus some extra to coat pan
 1 c. water plus 2 c. milk or 3 c. milk
 1/2 tsp. salt
 4 tsp. melted butter or olive oil, plus additional oil for greasing the baking pan
 1 egg, beaten
 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pizza Filling:
 1 lb. Mozzarella, sliced
 1 lb. sausage, removed from the casings, crumbled, cooked and drained
 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely crushed
 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
 3 tsp. dried oregano, or 5 fresh basil leaves, shredded
 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 Preparation :
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly coat a 15 inch deep
 dish pizza pan with vegetable oil.  Sprinkle it lightly with
 coarsely ground yellow cornmeal.  Bring water, milk and salt to a
 boil in a medium sized saucepan.  Pour a cup of cornmeal into the
 saucepan in a steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden
 spoon.  Cook, stirring until the polenta pulls away from the sides
 of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir out the
 lumps with a fork.  Add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter or oil,
 and let the polenta cool for a few moments.  Add the egg and cheese.
  Rub your hands with olive oil (to prevent sticking) and press the
 polenta into the prepared pizza pan.  Make sure that it comes up the
 sides of the pan about 1 1/2 to 2 inches.  Brush the dough with the
 remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil and bake for
 30 minutes.  (This baking ensures a crunchy crust.)  The pizza can
 be prepared ahead of time to this point.  To finish it off, add just
 about any deep dish or pizza filling and bake at 400 degrees for 20
 to 30 minutes.  Lay the Mozzarella cheese over the dough shell.
 Then distribute the sausage (which has been cooked until it is no
 longer pink) over the cheese.  Top with the tomatoes.  Sprinkle on
 the seasonings and Parmesan cheese.  Bake.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.
 Crispy  Crust  Pizza

 Ingredients :
 1/3 c. yellow cornmeal
 About 2 c. flour
 2 tbsp. olive oil
 1 lg. onion, minced
 1/2 tsp. dried basil
 1/2 tsp. salt
 3 med. tomatoes (can also use canned tomato wedges)
 1 (8 oz.) pkg. mozzarella cheese
Optional To Add:
 1 (3 1/2 oz.) can (drained weight) pitted ripe olives
 1 (3 1/2 oz.) pkg. sliced pepperoni
 1 (2 oz.) can anchovy fillets, drained
 1/4 c. packed thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

 Preparation :
     About 1 1/4 hours before serving:  into medium bowl, measure
 cornmeal and 2 cups flour.  Gradually stir in 3/4 cup cold water.
 With hand, knead dough 2 minutes or until smooth.  Cover bowl with
 plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.  While dough is resting, in 10
 inch skillet over medium heat, in hot olive oil, cook onion, dried
 basil, and salt until onion is tender.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  Turn dough onto floured surface; knead about 2 minutes until dough
 is not sticky, adding more flour if needed.  With floured rolling
 pin, roll dough into 12 inch round.  Spread onion mixture over
 dough; fold in half, then in half again.  Pinch to seal edges.  Roll
 into 14 inch round (edge may be irregular).  Place on large cookie
 sheet.  Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice tomatoes.  If using
 ripe olives, slice each in half.  Remove crust from oven.  With
 crust still on cookie sheet, arrange toppings on crust; sprinkle
 with sliced basil and pepper.  Bake pizza 15 minutes or until crust
 browns and cheese is bubbly.  Makes 4 main dish servings.
 Pepperoni  Pizza  With  Cornmeal  Crust

 Ingredients :
 1/2 c. warm water
 1 tbsp. or 1 pkt. active dry yeast
 1 tsp. sugar
 1 tbsp. olive oil
 3/4 c. unbleached flour
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1/2-3/4 c. cornmeal
 1 3/4 c. crushed tomatoes
 2 tbsp. tomato paste
 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
 1 oz. 1" diameter pepperoni, cut into very thin slices, then quartered
 1 tsp. garlic powder
 4 oz. grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

 Preparation :
    An unusual cornmeal crust for a basil-flavored pepperoni favorite.  
1.  Pour the warm water into a bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast
  on top and add the sugar.  Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
  The mixture will look tan and milky.  
2.  Add the olive oil and the unbleached flour, and stir until moistened 
  but not lump-free.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes, when the mixture 
  will look  bubbly and thick.  
3.  Stir in the salt, then add 1/3 cup of the cornmeal.  Stir until 
 incorporated. The mixture will be hard to stir, stick to the spoon, and     
 pull away from the sides of the bowl.  
4.  Lightly oil your hands with a drop or two of oil to keep your hands 
 from getting sticky when kneading.  Put about 2 tablespoons of the remaining     
 cornmeal on a counter top or cutting board.  Transfer the dough to the board     
 and lightly roll it in the cornmeal.  Gently knead the dough for 5 minutes,
 pushing away with the palms of your hands, then pulling toward you with your     
 fingertips.  It should be slightly sticky at all times.  If necessary,     
 incorporate a little more of the remaining cornmeal into the dough, a     
 tablespoon at a time, so the dough stays sticky without becoming heavy.  
5.  Put the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl.  Cover and let rest for 
 45 minutes in a warm place.  
6.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly coat a 10 1/2 x 16 inch cookie sheet     
 with non-stick cooking spray.  
7.  In a 1 1/2 quart saucepan combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and
 garlic; heat the sauce for 10 minutes over medium-low heat.  Set aside.  
8.  Spread a tablespoon or two of the remaining cornmeal on a counter top or     
 cutting board, or enough to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.     
 Roll the dough out into a 10 1/2 x 16 inch rectangle, and carefully transfer     
 it to the prepared pan.  
9.  Ladle the sauce over the dough, then distribute the pepperoni, garlic powder     
 and grated cheese; bake for 10 minutes.
 Yield: Makes a rectangular pizza yielding 20 pieces, each about 2 1/2 x 3 inches. 


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