If asked whether a person likes meat loaf, the response may be either cool or lukewarm. Hardly is it ever enthusiatic. The same can be said for the traditional fruit cake recipes with all the candied fruit which is always spit out or thrown away. Excuse the vulgarity. However, over the years there has been one recipe which has stood out at many houses over America as it is easy, fast, and especially fun to make – for the entire family.
THE PILLSBURY QUICK BREAD FRUIT CAKE
Another name can be “fruitless” fruit cake but that is a misnomer of sorts. Most of it is already previously mixed and combined. All ingredients are available at the corner supermarket, and it is fairly inexpensive to make. It is also very easy and fast to put together.
For this one, all that is needed is:
2 c. water
1 pkg. Pillsbury cranberry quick bread mix
1 pkg. Pillsbury date or nut quick bread mix
2 c. pecans, chopped
2 c. raisins, (dates and/figs will do)
*1/2 c. candied cherries
**½ cup candied pineapple
(These last two ingredients are solely for decorative purposes.) They can be eliminated completely and substituted with Pillsbury vanilla frosting or icing in containers.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a fluted tube or 10 inch tube pan.
- In large bowl, combine eggs and water.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir by hand until combined.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 75-85 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan 30 minutes. Loosen edges and remove from pan. Decorate sparingly with candied fruit on the top of cake loaf. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and put inside a tin can if one is available and store in refrigerator for several days to a month or so before the holiday.
For a variation, skip the candied fruit and pour about ¾ cup rum, brandy or cognac on top of cake. Wow! Of course, rum extract can be used, but oh, it’s not the same. Not nearly the same.
Everyone at home is commandeered to make this holiday treat. At home, Dad can be in charge of cracking the pecans or walnuts (usually walnuts); pulling them out with the nut cracking tool; and then chopping them with an extra large knife. Of course, a new food processor will put an end to all this chopping but oh well! Of course, several small bags of already chopped Diamond nuts are available but it’s not the same and will come out a lot more expensive. One may also run the risk of those little packages being ever so long at the grocers, they may have turned rancid by the time the holiday comes.
Mom can supervise the rest of the ingredients and especially make sure that the egg doesn’t get all over the floor. The kids will primarily just drool. This annual event plus that of the annual rum ball rolling extravaganza made our home a delight to be in before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. However, over the years, this recipe continues to mystify everyone as they try the Pillsbury “fruitless” fruit cake made up of a whole lot of goodness and very little, if any candied fruit.