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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tasty Tuesday-A Retro Fruitcake from the 1961 New York Times Cookbook

A few months ago I was super excited to come across the 1961 New York Times cookbook at the local salvation army.  

 Not only did if feature tons of gorgeous mid-century menu photos:

Plenty of the recipes did look delicious and since the holidays were coming and a co-worker has recently gifted me a bottle of Dominican rum I settled on trying the Nova Scotia black fruit cake.   I halved the recipe below and I bought all of the dried and candied fruits on amazon.

Nova Scotia Black Fruit Cake 
 1 lb candied pineapple, diced
1 lb golden raisins 
1 lb seeded raisins 
1 lb candied cherries, halved
4 oz candied citron, coarsely chopped
4 oz currants
2 oz candied lemon peel, coarsely chopped
2 oz candied orange peel, coarsely chopped 
1/2 cup dark rum, cognac or sherry
4 oz almonds, blanched and shredded
4 oz walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
2 cups flour 
1/2  tsp mace 
1/2 tsp cinnamon  

 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp almond extract 
 1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
5 eggs 

Mix fruits. Add rum, cover and let stand overnight. Preheat oven to 275 F. Grease one 10-inch tube pan or two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Line with wax paper and grease the paper. Combine fruits, nuts and 1/2 cup flour. Sift together remaining flour, mace, cinnamon and baing powder. Mix milk with almond extract. Cream butter until smooth, adding sugars gradually. Add eggs, mix well and add the mik mixture. Add flour mixture; mix well. Pour batter over the fruits and nuts and mix thoroughly. Fill pans and press batter down firmly. Bake tube cake about 4 hours, loaves about 3 hours. Let cakes stand 30 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and peel off the paper. Wrap cooled cakes in cheesecloth soaked in the rum. Place in a crock or deep kettle and cover tightly. As the cloth dries, dribble a little of the same liquor over it. Let ripen 1 month.

The cookbook also contains directions for two fancy holiday frostings which I skipped in favor of a plain, unvarnished fruit cake.

Sadly, I think my cake got a little overly blackened at the edges but I tasted a bit and it was exactly what a fruit cake should be: very rummy, and fruity and sweet with a spicy bite.   A lovely taste of Christmas past.



  1. Goodness, does that look and sound fantastic! Albeit I've had to modify the recipes immensely to get them to work with my medical dietary needs, but both my light and dark Christmas fruitcake recipes are vintage ones as well, handed down through my family for at least three generations now. I swear, the best fruitcakes always seem to come from classic mid-century or earlier recipes like this one you found.

    Happiest Christmas Eve, Eve wishes!
    ♥ Jessica

  2. What's a holiday without one of those cakes
    Lily & Edward

  3. Sounds yummy! I love those menu photos very much!

  4. Congratulations! SHE wouldn't even have attempted that.

  5. That looks and sounds completely delicious! Hope you all enjoy it.
    Lynne x

  6. What fun decoration on it. Have a wonderful Wednesday and a joyous Christmas Eve.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. I was never a big fruit cake fan. But it looks delicious and what a nice cook book. I bet there are some amazing recipes in here.

    Merry Christmas to all of you at Retro Rover. :-)


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