Why Gluten-Free Fruitcake?
Fruitcake gets a bad rap, so I can only imagine what people think when they hear ‘gluten-free fruitcake.’ The truth is, when done right, fruitcake can be amazing! What’s not to like about candied cherries, pineapple, toasted nuts and rum or bourbon? A good fruitcake is all of these things barely held together by a little bit of batter.
I think the reason that fruitcake got such a bad reputation is partially because of people using the mixed candied fruits that you can buy in the supermarket which contain citrus peel and citron and have a very distinct and often bitter flavor that over powers everything else. It also really depends on how much you like alcohol and how heavily you soak your cake. If you are not a fan of hard liqour, don’t use as much — or don’t use any. It can be quite delicious with Madeira, port wine, amaretto or no liqour at all.
If you don’t like it quite as sweet, opt for dried fruits instead of candied fruit.
How do you eat your fruitcake?
I would guess that is most common to eat your fuitcake alongside an after dinner drink or cordial. However, I have recently discovered a totally different and really delicious option — thinly slice your fruitcake, and serve it alongside a cheese board with nice sharp cheeses like cheddar or manchego. It might sound strange at first, but it makes perfect sense if you think about it. Cheese boards usually have some sort of dried fruit or jam on them as well as nuts, so why not just put it all together?
As with all of my recipes, this will work with any good 1:1 gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan or another binder. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure, my copycat #2 blend, Cup4Cup, Better Batter and Bob’s 1:1.
- 112 grams water
- 112 grams granulated sugar
- 56 grams Grand Marnier (rum or bourbon, optional)
- 560 grams chopped pecans, lightly roasted, and cooled
- 224 grams dried cranberries (or raisins or dried fruit of your choice)
- 224 grams candied or dried pineapple, chopped
- 224 grams candied red cherries, chopped in half
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 130 grams 1:1 gluten-free flour blend
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon dark rum or bourbon (optional)
Heat the water and sugar in a small pan, until the sugar is totally dissolved. Stir in the Grand Marnier, and remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature, and set aside.
Grease a 9-inch springform or 10-inch tube pan, and line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine pecans, cranberries, pineapple and red cherries in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl, and add to the fruit. Toss to coat. Stir in eggs and vanilla until combined.
Set batter aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Give the batter a good mix, and then pour into your prepared pan. Press evenly into the pan. Bake about 1½ hours until set, and the top of the cake looks dry and is just starting to turn golden brown. When the cakes is done, transfer to a cooling rack. Let stand for five minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edge and then release springform.
While the cake is still warm, brush with syrup (before brushing with syrup, you can decorate the top with more whole nuts and cherries if desired). Let cool 30 minutes, then spoon additional rum or bourbon on top, if desired.
When completely cool, remove the cake from the pan base, and peel off the parchment paper on bottom.
If not eating right away, wrap fruitcakes in plastic wrap. Fruitcake will keep for two months in the refrigerator. If storing, sprinkle with more alcohol an hour before serving.