Monday, November 30

Good Eating Monday: Festive Pear Fruitcake

We had a slab-leak recently repaired and this afternoon the Floor-guy came who came to glue down my vinyl tile over the cement he filled the repair hole that the plumber jack-hammered in my hallway. Fortunately, that hole is not larger then one 16 x 16 tile!
Anyway, it seemed a good day to oil the outside of some of my kitchen cabinets and I went the extra mile---I actually wiped out the insides, too and put down a line of Borax along the seams.
(Borax is a natural insect pest killer.)
Real wood has to be moisturized periodically or it will crack & peel. I use Pledge Orange Oil. Smells nice.

So, how do you feel about Fruitcake? 
I love home-made fruitcake! The trick to a good cake is avoiding the "Old English Mix" of candied fruits entirely and, instead, choosing just the candied pineapple and candied green & red cherries. That plus raisins, chopped dates & chopped nuts makes your cake!
This is year I've decided to try a new fruitcake called: Festive Pear Fruitcake!
It's a vintage recipe from a 1978 Holiday Baking Magazine I bought in 1978 when I was in the Air Force. (It has lovely pictures.)
My Festive Pear Fruitcake, sliced to serve Dec/2015
This pear fruitcake calls for one large 29 oz can of Bartlett pears, pureed in a blender plus the usual flour, spices, fruits & nuts! It makes four 3 1/2 x 
5 1/2 inch loaf pans or 2 standard 9 inch loaf pans.
This recipe needs to be made at least two weeks in advance, wrapped & stored until ready to get it out for cutting. I found it to be a very dense, fruity-fruitcake and is best served at room temperature.

Festive Pear Fruitcake
1 can (29 oz) Bartlett Pears 
1/2 cup butter or margarine 
1/2 cup sugar 
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups mixed candied pineapple & cherries
1 1/2 cups chopped dates
1 1/2 cups currents (or raisins)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Drain pears and puree in blender or food processor. Combine pureed pears in a saucepan with butter & sugar and boil 5 minutes.
Cool. In a large mixing bowl combine walnuts, candied fruits, dates & currents. In a sifter, combine flour, baking soda, spices & salt and sift over fruit & nuts and mix until all the fruit mixture is coated. Add cooled pear mixture to flour/fruit and mix well. Turn into 4 wax paper lined 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 loaf pans or two standard 9 inch loaf pans lined with wax paper. Bake at 300 for 90 minutes to 105 minutes (1 1/2 hrs to 1 3/4 hrs). Remove from pans and cool on rack. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and store in a cool place for at least a week for favor to deepen.
My Experience Tip: 
Boil the pear puree, butter & sugar for less time, like 1 to 2 minutes. 
Just long enough to combine the sugar & puree.
 Boiling it for 5 minutes seemed to boil most of the pear flavor away, so the cake didn't end up with hardly any pear flavor at all. The pear flavor was extremely faint and I would've preferred more pear flavor. It was also a little dry and boiling less time might help that. Also adding 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce to the recipe might not hurt the moisture.

Other fruitcake recipes that I love, which I've previous posted:
Banana Walnut Fruitcake (with a Pina Colada variation)
Eat up, me hearties, yo-ho!

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