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Thursday, 13 August 2015

LORNE is getting MARRIED! . . . and MARY STADNYK’S FRUIT CAKE!



Wedding Invitation!

Bringing out the suitcases!


At Bryan’s and my wedding, Lorne was just a boy, but he did one of the  readings at the church .


Baking a wedding cake was a snap for my mom because every year she made several fruit cakes for Christmas.  She wanted to make a traditional three-layer cake but I insisted on only one layer because the reception was only a very small gathering of relatives and friends. 


Mom was worried about decorating the cake, however, so the icing was added by a professional baker.   I had found the design in a Cordon Bleu magazine. 

MARY’S DARK FRUIT CAKE (for Christmas or Weddings)

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Mary’s Dark Fruit Cake (for Christmas or Weddings)
1 cup butter                                                 ½ cup citron
1 cup brown sugar                                                1 and ½ cup flour
3 eggs                                                            ¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ cup sour cream                                       ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup raisins                                                 ½ tsp. cloves
½ cup slivered almonds                            1 tsp. allspice
1 cup currants                                             ¾ tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped dates                                 ¼ cup orange juice

Bake in slow oven (250 to 300 degrees) until done.

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               This recipe is more detailed than most of Mom’s recipes.  Old-tyme cooks didn’t use precise measurements: as Mom put it, they did it ‘by gosh or by golly’, adding things like flour until the dough felt right.  And they cooked in a woodstove which meant the heat was hard to regulate – not to mention that the temperature gauge on the front was always broken so the cook also had to judge when the oven was ready, once again using that old ‘by gosh and by golly’.
            I had to quantify many recipes by watching Mom and writing things down as she breezed through some complicated procedures.  So, when you see the numbers by the recipes, you should know that those weren’t ever put there by the Mary.  But, if you like things a little more systematic, like me, here are a few more instructions for that cake: 

1.  Grease a 9x9 cake pan and line it with 2 thicknesses of parchment or waxed paper.  Butter the top layer of paper.
2.  Chop the dates, mixing them with a little of the flour.
3.  Add the rest of the fruit, again mixing in a little flour to separate the pieces.
4.  Add the almonds to this mixture.
5.   Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
6.  Mix the spices, baking powder, and baking soda into remaining flour.
7.  Cream the butter and sugar well.
8.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
9.  Add orange juice and sour cream.  Beat.
10. Stir in the flour and spice mixture.
11.  Stir in the fruit and nut mixture.
12.  Bake for 3 to 3 ½ hours.  If the top of the cake browns too rapidly, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.   
Test by pressing the surface lightly with a fingertip.  If the cake feels firm and no finger imprint is left, the cake is done.
13.  Invert on a wire cake cooler for a few minutes before removing the baking tin. 

P.S.  Did you know the Queen loves a good, dark, heavy fruitcake?