When we were visiting my husband’s family in Las Vegas, my mother in law asked if I wanted to make her mom’s Christmas applesauce fruitcake. Did she even need to ask? Of course! That’s exactly the kind of thing I love to do 🙂 My mother in law said that her mom would make this every Christmas, and that the smell of it baking in the oven always reminds her of the Christmas season.
If you’re thinking that you don’t like fruitcake, you have to try this one! It’s absolutely delicious…buttery and so satisfying since it is filled with raisins, dates, walnuts and pecans. My mother in law said she remembers there being maraschino cherries in there, so if you like those you could always add them in for some festive color! Or substitute craisins for some of the raisins to get some red color in there…it’s an easily adaptable recipe!
We had this handwritten recipe, but weren’t sure how many loaves it would make. Given that the recipe calls for 10 cups of flour, we were pretty sure it would make a lot…and we were right…it made 6 big loaves and 4 mini loaves, perfect for sharing as gifts! Patrick’s grandmother and her sister got a job during the war as cooks for the nuns in a convent, so I guess they were used to cooking in large quantities! By the way, don’t you love handwritten recipes? There’s just something about reading the person’s handwriting that makes the recipe even more personal and special to me 🙂
Did I mention how much I love my mother in law? She is such an upbeat, patient, and fun woman to be around…I love our talks and feel like I can go to her for advice whenever I need a listening ear. Three generations of O’Donnell women in the kitchen here, with Malia doing the hard work 🙂 The smell when this comes out of the oven is heavenly, just like my mother in law said it would be! She serves it sliced thin with cream cheese on top. It’s the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack…I’ve been eating it every day for the past week or so, and I can’t get enough!
Makes 8 loaves
4 cups applesauce
4 cups sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, melted
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
2 packages (12 oz each) raisins or craisins (boiled in water and drained)
1/2 package of prunes, chopped
1 package (12 oz) of chopped dates
Chopped walnuts or pecans (optional) – we added a heaping cup of chopped nuts
About 10 cups of flour
Mix applesauce with sugar and melted butter. Stir in baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract. Whisk in eggs. Stir in raisins, prunes and nuts (if using). Then, add in 10 cups of flour and mix just to combine. The batter will be very thick. Spoon into greased disposable loaf pans and bake at 350 F for 1 hour or until tester comes out clean. Do not over bake. Allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and place back in the disposable loaf pans. Wrap with a pretty ribbon and give them away to friends and family 🙂
Do you have any recipes that your grandparents or parents passed down?
What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?