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  • Writer's pictureVirginia Cornue and Linda Lombri

Christmas on a Fork: The Most Delicious, Mouthwatering, Scrumptious, Luscious, Gluten Free Fruit Cak

If you've never eaten a real homemade fruitcake, you have NO IDEA what you are missing! That lumpish, sawdustish, dried up, florescent colored cloyingly candied sort of fruitish thing that is offered on grocery store shelves could not be further from what an honest to goodness, truly mouthwatering, homemade fruitcake really tastes like. OMG! A reeeeeal fruitcake soaked in whiskey or brandy for a month or two before cutting into its rich deep flavored cake studded with reeeeal organic dried fruit -- is almost an ecstatic experience. Fruitcake skeptics will instantly convert!

The secret: DRIED (organic) fruit. Not candied.

The recipe here is a version based on one from Virginia's Grandmother Ellen, but with a contemporary twist. It is made with gluten free flour and all organic dried fruit. Well, Grandmother Ellen's fruit was organic. She dried her own from her own pesticide-free fruit trees, but she did use white wheat flour. Virginia's version uses garbanzo and brown rice flours. And it is truly a sensual experience.

This classic Christmas recipe is straight from the pages of the new Culinary Clues around the World 2.0. It is featured in Secrets at Abbott House, the third volume of the SANDRA TROUX MYSTERIES (

The Most Scrumptious, Luscious, Extraordinary Organic Gluten-Free Fruit Cake EVER!

1 cup each, organic dried (NOT CANDIED) cherries, apricots, pineapple, blueberries, golden raisins, dark raisins, dates, figs, and mango

1/2 cup crystallized ginger

1 cup each, chopped walnuts and pecans

2 cups bourbon, brandy or rum

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter (melted)

2 cups dark brown sugar OR 1 cup blue agave syrup OR 1/2 cup blue agave syrup and 1/2 cup maple syrup

3 to 4 eggs

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon each allspice, mace and cloves (preferably fresh ground)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup garbanzo flour

Preheat oven to between 275°F and 325F. Some bakers set a lower temp and a longer baking time.

Chop large-sized fruit, such as pineapple and mango, into bite sized pieces. Mix all fruit together in a large bowl. Pour your choice of bourbon, brandy or rum over dried fruit mixture. Soak for at least half an hour or until fruit plumps up and absorbs most of the liquid.

Combine and sift dry ingredients – flours, salt, spices – in a bowl.

Cream eggs, sweetener, vanilla, and melted butter or extra virgin olive oil in a separate bowl.

Combine the egg mixture with the fruit liquor mixture.

Add the dry mixture a little at a time and mix well. Since the flours are gluten-free, there is no concern about over mixing.

Stir in most of the nuts, reserving some to decorate the top along with some dried fruit pieces.

Note: Since the flours are gluten-free, the batter will take a few minutes to stiffen while flour particles absorb the liquid.

Turn batter into a 11” x 14” pan or a large tube pan prepared with a greased sheet of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. If any batter remains, pour into small individual cake tins and bake.

Bake 2-3 hours between 275-325. Some bakers set their ovens even lower down to 210 and bake longer. Low and slow is the proper way to bake. Test with a thin blade to see if the cake is done. Baking time may vary due to amount of fruit included and differences in oven temperatures. If cake is getting too dark, cover it with parchment paper.

There are tons of recipes in Culinary Cues around the World 2.0 that will tempt your taste buds today, after the holiday season and throughout the year. Available in paperback and as an eBook, you'll find it on Amazon by clicking on the book title above. You'll also have a chance to take a look at our SANDRA TROUX MYSTERIES series - now three and soon to be four different volumes.

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