Christmas cakes for anyone
By Ginger Isham
Two of my favorite cakes for the holidays come from a close friend who once lived next door and my best friend, Betty Crocker. As you will see, one of them is a fruitcake. You can substitute fruits of your choice. One reason I like this recipe is that it makes just one loaf. After all, one cannot have too much fruitcake! Best to serve fruitcake thinly sliced and cut with a non-serrated or electric knife.
8 ounces dried apricots (about 2 cups)
8 ounces dates (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup red and green maraschino cherries
9 ounces Brazil nuts (about 1 1/2 cups)
5 ounces red and green candied pineapple (about 1 cup), cut up
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar (I use only 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix all ingredients and pour batter into a 9-by-5-inch greased loaf pan and bake in 300-degree oven for about 1.5 hours. Can cover last 30 minutes to prevent from excessive browning. Remove from pan and cool. Wrap and store in fridge. Later make a glaze to pour over fruitcake: 1/4 cup apple or currant jelly, cooked over low heat until melted.
Almond eggnog cake
Make a 10-inch angel food cake (found in cake mix aisle of supermarket)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup almonds, slivered and toasted (optional)
1/2 cup butter
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of nutmeg
1/3 cup rum, brandy or sherry
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks. Add vanilla and nutmeg. Gradually beat in the rum. Fold in 2/3 cup of almonds. Split angel food cake into thirds and spread filling between layers. Frost with unsweetened whipped cream. Sprinkle top with rest of almonds. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Ginger Isham was the co-owner of Maple Grove Farm Bed & Breakfast in Williston, a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road where she still lives.