Still using up garden peppers: stuffed peppers mid-century-style
Cooking/baking catch up, updated

Have you ever made a fruitcake?

The reason to consider it is that we have a wide variety of dried fruits to use these days, instead of just sticky chewy shiny candied ones that once represented the only fruit available to cold climates in winter, along with raisins and currants. My cake will have no shiny green candied cherries or citron, or raisins or currants. Instead I'll use dried apricots, dates, cherries, and maybe cranberries. I gotta go see what's at the store in a little while.

I'm going to make this recipe tonight or in the morning, only I'm using amaretto instead of brandy. I plan to soak the fruit in amaretto and then drain it, using the reserve liquid for the batter. Then I'll brush it every few days with a mixture of bourbon and amaretto. Frankly, I just don't like brandy. Sue me.

There are non-alcoholic versions, of course, but the original reason for the brandy was a) it helps preserve the cake for a long time, especially important in pre-freezer days, and b) it's one of the many festive and valuable ingredients that originally made the cake a special holiday treat. If you want to be non-traditional and make it alcohol-free, I think you should find a new-fashioned dried fruit cake recipe and go for it. But you'd want to make it much closer to the day you plan to eat it.

Stay tuned; I will share a couple photos soon.

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