Gramma Boekman and Aunt Pearl used to make these fruitcakes every Christmas to sell for a little extra spending money.
Aunt Pearl used to start baking fruitcakes the day after election day (she worked at the precinct) and made 22 lbs each day until just before Thanksgiving. She filled standing orders which her kids had to deliver and never made a fruitcake less than 1.5 lbs – that was her smallest one.
Bob continues the Caldwell Fruitcake Tradition, to the delight of some and the dismay of others.
Aunt Pearl's Famous Fruitcake
- 1 pound granulated sugar
- 1 pound flour
- 10 medium or 9 large or extra large eggs
- 1 pound butter
- 2 1/2 pounds dark raisins
- 1 1/2 pounds golden raisins
- 1/2 pound pecans chopped coarsely
- 1/2 pound candied cherries
- 1/2 pound candied pineapple
- 1/2 pound citron (ask Bob)
- 1/2 pound orange peel
- 1/2 pound lemon peel
- 2 nutmegs grated
- 2 tbsp Rum Extract
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Fruit Cake Glaze (optional):
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
Mix all fruit, nuts and butter together.
Let stand overnight.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Mix sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, rum extract, salt, and nutmeg.
Stir into fruit.
Pour into lined pans and bake for about four hours.
Cover with Glaze. (optional, but recommended...)
Tightly wrap when cooled.
Keeps forever (literally :> )
For the glaze
Bring ingredients to a rolling boil.
Pour over cold cake before or after storing.
Pour a shot of rum or brandy over each fruit cake once a year or so, it keeps the texture and flavor at peak!
Bob Caldwell says
Somehow, this got mis-attributed to Aunt Meal (Amelia Dreschler Furman) rather than Aunt Pearl (Pearl Dreschler Beck). Aunt Pearl was a sweet old lady who baked her way through the Great Depression. I remember Aunt Meal as a dried up old prune, though she might have had some redeeming features. I do know that at one point, she refused to lend Gus (Grandpa August Carl Boekman) about $100 to fix the furnace on a big old barn of a house which was reportedly the reason that they lost the house. I have never tried the glaze, but I do know that if you pour a shot of rum or brandy over each fruit cake once a year or so, it keeps the texture and flavor at peak!
Bob Caldwell says
Some additions to the recipe – – maybe we should rewrite it. 10 medium, 9 large or extra large eggs; 2-1/2 lbs dark raisins, 1-1/2 lbs. golden raisins; pecans should be chopped coarsely; 2 T. rum extract; 2 tsp. baking powder. In the directions, add “Mix all fruit, nuts and butter together”; “Mix sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, rum extract, salt, and nutmeg.”