My Family's Secret Fruitcake Recipe
For most people, the traditions around the holidays involve having family together for dinners and gatherings. For me and my family, our traditions include working long hours together making special seasonal products for our lovely customers and our own family.
One of those products is our Fruitcake. Legend has it that our fruitcake recipe was used on the CN railways at Christmas time in the early 1900's. This cake has been a part of Christies history for over 55 years and, if my dad’s memory serves him correctly, it has been part of Canadian History for over 100 years! This fruitcake has staying power. My uncle used to keep it from one Christmas to another saying that it was the best after one year in the fridge. I have never tried that myself, but I might have to do a little experiment this year.
My Uncle Max gave my dad this Fruitcake recipe and he made it for over 50 years until he retired. Before my dad retired he gave my husband, Trent, the honour of making the Family Fruitcake. In the first year of training Trent watched my dad mix the massive batch of fruitcake—a combination of candied fruit and nuts soaked in rum and brandy—and portion it into our special large steaming pans. Along the way my dad revealed the little details that make this classic cake an exceptional holiday delight.
The following year, the roles were reversed. My dad watched as Trent mixed and portioned the Fruitcake, offering the tricks he learned from over 50 years of baking. Of course he gave Trent the approval to continue. Trent is an excellent baker and chef in his own right and he has now found his groove making the Fruitcake, adding his own tricks to the process.
The Fruitcake is absolutely delicious. I am grateful to Trent for making our Fruitcake as it is quite a physical endeavour. He is also very busy with his own business Scratch Provisions, making super tasty savoury pies and soups.
It’s hard not to get sentimental about the fruitcake process. I used to prepare the fruit maceration and steaming pans for my dad and now I am doing that for my husband. It’s the unique part of our family’s holiday tradition and I am very happy to do it!