Aunt Ellen’s Fruit Cakes

Putting the finishing touches on a fruit cake

Fruit Cake? I’m not joking! Don’t give up on fruit cake until you’ve tried Aunt Ellen’s Fruit Cake. It’s full of sweet candied and dried fruit, marinated in cherry brandy then mixed with nuts and a spiced batter that’s baked to perfection. If you haven’t tried fruit cake, this is the one to try. If you are a fruit cake lover, then you’ll know that Aunt Ellen’s Fruit Cake is the best you have ever had!

four fruit cakes on a cooling rack
Aunt Ellen’s Fruit Cakes
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
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Full of sweet candied and dried fruit marinated in cherry brandy, then mixed with nuts and a spiced batter that's baked to perfection. This is why fruit cake is a holiday tradition that has lasted for centuries. If you haven't tried fruit cake, this is the one to try. If you are a fruit cake lover, then you'll know this is the best!
Servings Prep Time
75 Servings 1 1/2 hour
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 hours 135
Servings Prep Time
75 Servings 1 1/2 hour
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 hours 135
four fruit cakes on a cooling rack
Aunt Ellen’s Fruit Cakes
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Full of sweet candied and dried fruit marinated in cherry brandy, then mixed with nuts and a spiced batter that's baked to perfection. This is why fruit cake is a holiday tradition that has lasted for centuries. If you haven't tried fruit cake, this is the one to try. If you are a fruit cake lover, then you'll know this is the best!
Servings Prep Time
75 Servings 1 1/2 hour
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 hours 135
Servings Prep Time
75 Servings 1 1/2 hour
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 hours 135
Here's What You Need
The Fruit
The Batter
Here's What You Do
Prepare the Fruit
  1. The night before you make the Fruit Cake, chop the fruit into small pieces (about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch); Set some red and green cherries (sliced in half), some pineapple chunks and some pecans halves aside for topping the fruit cakes. Place the raisins and chopped fruit in a large bowl. Pour ½ cup cherry brandy over the fruit and toss well.
  2. Let the fruit and brandy mixture stand at room temperature overnight, stirring often to mix the fruit.
Other Preparation
  1. Prepare some 8 X 4 aluminum loaf pans (see Recipe Notes) by spreading a thin layer of shortening all over the inside, then lining each loaf pan with parchment paper or wax paper.
  2. Chop the nuts into small pieces (don't pulverize) and mix into the fruit and cherry brandy mix; set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, cinnamon, allspice, grated nutmeg and salt and sift all together into a bowl; set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Mix the Batter and Fruit
  1. Using a stand mixer, cream the softened butter or margarine until light and fluffy.
  2. With the mixer on a medium speed, add the brown sugar gradually, allowing the brown sugar and butter to completely combine before adding more brown sugar.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is completely mixed in before adding the next egg.
  4. Keeping the mixer on low, add the sifted spiced flour to the butter and brown sugar mixture, a little at a time, making sure that it is all incorporated before adding more.
  5. Turn off the stand mixer and transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the fruit and nut mixture, a little at a time. Mix everything together well, then mix some more!
  6. Turn the mixture into the prepared loaf pans.
  7. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 ½ to 3 hours. The fruit cakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean, but slightly sticky. (see Recipe Notes)
  8. Cool the fruit cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks until fully cooled. This will take a few hours or can be cooled over night.
  9. To finish the fruit cake, poke several holes in the top of each with a tooth pick and pour a little cherry brandy over the fruit cakes slowly.
  10. Once the cherry brandy has been absorbed, individually wrap the finished fruit cakes tightly in plastic wrap (airtight) and store. These fruit cakes can be eaten right away or stored for a couple of months in the refrigerator or pantry, or can be frozen for several months.
Recipe Notes

This recipe says to marinate the chopped fruit in the cherry brandy for twelve hours....feel free to do it longer if you want. Just keep stirring it every few hours!

This recipe is easy to increase-just keep all the ingredients proportional.

Sifting the dry ingredients together, then adding the sifted, dry ingredients gradually will make sure that the delicious spices are distributed throughout all the batter.

This recipe will fill approximately five of the 8" x 4" X 2 1/2" loaf pans, or about 15 of the little 6" x 3 1/2" x 2" loaf pans. The little ones are the perfect size for gifts.  This is also great in larger loaf pans or the round  angel-food cake pans.

The cooking time is a good estimate and depends a lot on the size loaf pans you decide to use.   Check after about 2 hours-if they are done the cakes should be firm when you press down on them and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pans. Poke them with a tooth pick-if it comes out clean and just a little sticky, it's done! 

Make sure to wrap the fruit cakes tightly-start with plastic wrap then cover with aluminum foil. Make them airtight! They can be placed in freezer bags and stored for up to six months, either in the fridge or out. They can also be frozen for a year.

Nutrition Facts
Aunt Ellen’s Fruit Cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 135 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 98mg 4%
Potassium 76mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 14g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 1%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Mirliton Crab Bisque

Mirliton Crab Bisque with crab meat in a bowl with three mirlitons

Mirliton-the wrinkly green vegetable, found in family gardens and farmers markets all over South Louisiana. This versatile and unique squash is a staple of Louisiana, served many ways-pickled, casseroles and stuffed. My favorite is this wonderful Mirliton Crab Bisque. The mirliton’s mild flavor is a perfect vehicle for the succulent and rich crab meat and unique spice blend of nutmeg, allspice and cardamon. Perfect for an appetizer or the main course, served with crisp french bread and a green salad.

Mirliton Crab Bisque with crab meat in a bowl with three mirlitons
Sweet Daddy D's Mirliton Crab Bisque
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Mirliton Crab Bisque-the mirliton's mild flavor is a perfect vehicle for the succulent and rich crab meat and unique spice blend of nutmeg, allspice and cardamon in a creamy, rich bisque. Perfect for an appetizer or the main course, served with crisp french bread and a green salad.
Servings Prep Time
8 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1 Hour 542
Servings Prep Time
8 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1 Hour 542
Mirliton Crab Bisque with crab meat in a bowl with three mirlitons
Sweet Daddy D's Mirliton Crab Bisque
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Mirliton Crab Bisque-the mirliton's mild flavor is a perfect vehicle for the succulent and rich crab meat and unique spice blend of nutmeg, allspice and cardamon in a creamy, rich bisque. Perfect for an appetizer or the main course, served with crisp french bread and a green salad.
Servings Prep Time
8 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1 Hour 542
Servings Prep Time
8 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1 Hour 542
Here's What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend
Here's What You Do
  1. Slice the mirlitons in half, lengthwise and poach in salted water for about 45 minutes until very tender when probed.
  2. Remove from the water and allow the mirlitons to cool, then remove and discard the seed and scoop out the meat with a spoon.
  3. Chop the mirliton; set aside until needed, but reserve about ¼ cup of pieces to add to the bisque at the end.
  4. Melt butter in a heavy bottom dutch oven over medium high heat until bubbly
  5. Add yellow onions and celery and saute until the onions are starting to clear-about 5 minutes.
  6. Add green onions and saute for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add the flour and mix in thoroughly, stirring constantly to make a blond roux-about 3 minutes; don't let the roux brown,
  8. Mix in the creole seasoning.
  9. Add the carrots, stir to coat with the roux, then add in the mirliton and stir everything together very well.
  10. Lower heat and allow everything to simmer for about 10 minutes while the mirliton releases some of its liquid. Stir often and mash some the mirliton with your spoon while you stir.
  11. Increase the heat and add the stock and the wine.
  12. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat and maintain a heavy simmer for about 20 minutes while it thicken. Stir often.
  13. Test to make sure the carrots are soft, then using an immersion blender, smooth out the bisque, making sure to get all the carrots and mirliton pieces.
  14. Add in the heavy whipping cream and stir together until it is all incorporated. Mix in about half of the spice blend and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  15. Add in the crab meat making sure not to break it up. Add the reserved mirliton pieces and carefully blend everything together well.
  16. Now that the crab meat is in, taste it again to check the seasonings. Add more of the reserved spice blend and salt if needed.
  17. Serve this in a cup as an appetizer, or in bowl as an entree. Some nice saltines or crispy french bread go well with the bisque as does a nice green salad.
Recipe Notes

Mirlitons are also called chayote or alligator pears. They will vary in size but  you want about four cups of prepared mirliton meat for this recipe.

Have some extra stock in reserve in case the bisque needs to be thinned out. Vegetable or chicken stock are an excellent substitute for seafood stock.

This recipe makes about 8 full size servings (bowls) or 12 appetizer size servings (cups)

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Daddy D's Mirliton Crab Bisque
Amount Per Serving
Calories 542 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 72%
Saturated Fat 29g 145%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 188mg 63%
Sodium 628mg 26%
Potassium 374mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 117%
Vitamin C 21%
Calcium 9%
Iron 9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.