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A&E >  Food

‘Joy of Cooking’ corrects Dark Fruitcake recipe

Lorie Hutson Food editor

I’ve always thought of our readers as one of our best resources for recipes. And you’ve come through again.

When a Spokane reader picked up the food section last week, she noticed that eggs were suspiciously absent from the Dark Fruitcake recipe we printed from the “Joy of Cooking.” But when she checked her 1997 edition of the cookbook it was the same recipe.

Then she compared the recipe to versions in her 1975 book and the recently released 75th anniversary editions of the venerable cookbook. Sure enough, both contained the eggs missing from the 1997 first-edition printing. Simon and Schuster posted the corrected recipe on its Web site after the mistakes were discovered and in subsequent cookbooks.

However, some have made the egg-free version of the Dark Fruitcake with success.

“I received my 2006 75th anniversary edition yesterday and have been glued to it ever since,” a reader told Simon and Schuster in a note posted on its Web site. “Imagine my surprise when I looked at the recipe for the Dark Fruitcake that I had made the day before and noticed in the new edition there are 6 eggs in the recipe. I have been making the recipe in the 1997 New Joy (of Cooking) for six years without the eggs and we love it! Now, I don’t want to change from the incorrect recipe to the corrected one. Besides, you can lick the beaters in confidence that you won’t get sick from the raw eggs!”

The missing eggs aren’t the only flaw in the 1997 recipe. It also calls for too much flour and brandy.

Here is the corrected recipe:

Dark Fruitcake

From the “Joy of Cooking.” Have all ingredients at room temperature, 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups packed light or dark brown sugar

6 large eggs

1/2 cup dark or light molasses

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange

1/2 cup brandy

2 1/2 cups diced mixed candied fruits (citron, pineapple, cherries, kumquats, and/or orange and lemon peel)

2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups chopped dates

1 1/2 cups currants

1 1/2 cups golden raisins

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and line the bottom and sides of one 10-inch tube pan with wax or parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and cloves.

In a separate bowl, beat butter until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add brown sugar and beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture, 3 to 5 minutes.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl if necessary.

Beat in molasses, grated zest and citrus juices.

Add the flour mixture in two parts alternating with brandy in two parts, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula just until blended. Scrape sides of the bowl as necessary and stir in candied fruits, walnuts, dates, currants and golden raisins.

Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 3 1/2 hours. The cake may appear done at 2 1/2 hours; simply ignore this. If the cake is getting too dark on top, tent it loosely with aluminum foil for the last 30 to 60 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for about 1 hour. Invert the cake and remove the paper liner. Let cake cool right side up on the rack.

Note: This fruitcake is best stored for at least a month, but can be eaten sooner. To store, wrap in plastic wrap or clean brandy- or wine-soaked linens. Cloth-wrapped cakes should be wrapped in plastic or heavy-duty sealable plastic bags. Do not use aluminum foil to wrap liquor-dosed fruitcakes – the alcohol-fruit combination tends to dissolve foil.

Yield: 40 to 60 thin slices

Approximate nutrition per serving, based on 40: 268 calories, 9 grams fat (3.4 grams saturated, 29 percent fat calories), 4 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrate, 44 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 95 milligrams sodium.

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