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
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
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.

Cajun Crawfish Bisque

Crawfish Bisque with Rice and French Bread
Spoonful of Cajun Crawfish Bisque with two stuffed heads
Cajun Crawfish Bisque
Votes: 4
Rating: 4.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Crawfish Bisque is the Dean of Cajun cuisine. Traditionally prepared late in crawfish season as a way to use up all the extra crawfish. Preparation is usually a family affair, as cleaned crawfish heads are stuffed with a filling made from ground crawfish tails, vegetables and spices. These stuffed heads are added to a rich bisque made from the trinity cooked down in a roux with herbs and spices and a rich crawfish stock. It doesn't get any better than this!
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 1.5 Hours
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours 485
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 1.5 Hours
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours 485
Spoonful of Cajun Crawfish Bisque with two stuffed heads
Cajun Crawfish Bisque
Votes: 4
Rating: 4.5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Crawfish Bisque is the Dean of Cajun cuisine. Traditionally prepared late in crawfish season as a way to use up all the extra crawfish. Preparation is usually a family affair, as cleaned crawfish heads are stuffed with a filling made from ground crawfish tails, vegetables and spices. These stuffed heads are added to a rich bisque made from the trinity cooked down in a roux with herbs and spices and a rich crawfish stock. It doesn't get any better than this!
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 1.5 Hours
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours 485
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 1.5 Hours
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours 485
Here's What You Need
For stuffing the heads
For the bisque
Here's What You Do
To stuff the heads
  1. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the crawfish tails.
  2. Place the remaining tails into a food processor and grind until fine, place in a bowl.
  3. Take the reserved crawfish tails and roughly chop them into small pieces, place them with the ground tails.
  4. Place the onions, celery, garlic and parsley in the food processor and chop until very fine.
  5. Place the vegetables in the bowl with the crawfish and make sure to include any juice generated by the food processing.
  6. To the bowl add the eggs, creole seasoning and pepper.
  7. Add the breadcrumbs, starting with about 1 cup. Mix all together with your hands. Add more breadcrumbs as needed to make sure it holds together.
  8. Stuff the crawfish heads with the filling. Starting on the wider end of the head’s opening, use your left index finger to spread the shell open, place filling into the head and stuff it tightly with your right index finger. Alternately, you could forego stuffing the heads and form the filling into small balls known as boulettes.
  9. Place all the stuffed heads on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.
To make the bisque:
  1. Place the tail meat in a bowl, sprinkle with creole seasoning and set aside.
  2. Place 8 cups of crawfish stock in a stock pot and warm until almost boiling.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron dutch oven over high heat.
  4. When the oil is shimmering, add the flour and whisk constantly until you have a medium roux. Add the trinity (yellow onions, celery and bell peppers) into the roux and stir constantly until softened, about 8 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, about 2/3 of the green onions and the creole seasoning. Stir until blended and becoming aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the crawfish tails in about four batches and the tomato sauce, stir to mix well.
  7. Making sure the stock is about the same temperature as the roux mixture, slowly add stock to the roux and crawfish, a ladle at a time, stirring to completely blend the stock into the roux mixture before adding the next ladle.
  8. Continue this, one ladle at a time, until about half of the stock has been added, then you can add the balance of the stock and mix together very well. Make sure there are no lumps.
  9. Bring the bisque to a high boil, reduce heat to a medium simmer and let it simmer for about 15 minutes uncovered.
  10. Add the stuffed crawfish heads and return to a boil.
  11. Once it boils, lower the heat to a simmer, cover and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir often to keep the heads off the bottom of the pot.
  12. Add some of the reserved stock if it gets too thick.
  13. After 45 minutes add the parsley and stir well.
  14. Serve in a bowl over a scoop of white rice, making sure to get some of the stuffed heads in each serving. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top.
Recipe Notes

If you don’t have heads, you can form boulettes- small balls made from the stuffing mix.

If you don't have access to crawfish stock, you can substitute seafood, chicken or vegetable stock.

Cut the prep time down-get some help stuffing the heads-that's where the time is involved!

Be careful adding salt to this without tasting it. There will be some residual salt from the crawfish boil if you are using reserved shells to make the stock, as well as potentially salt in the commercial creole seasoning.

Nutrition Facts
Cajun Crawfish Bisque
Amount Per Serving
Calories 485 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 268mg 89%
Sodium 824mg 34%
Potassium 475mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 31g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 5g
Protein 37g 74%
Vitamin A 36%
Vitamin C 52%
Calcium 17%
Iron 43%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Meatloaf

Sliced Meatloaf
Classic Meatloaf
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Major comfort food! This homogeneous blend of three different ground meats with herbs and spices combine to form a tender loaf of goodness that goes best with creamy mashed potatoes or mac and cheese-the sauce even makes a tangy gravy to smother those classic side dishes! Add some peas or green beans and you have a meal that's sure to warm the heart and the tummy!
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours
Sliced Meatloaf
Classic Meatloaf
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Major comfort food! This homogeneous blend of three different ground meats with herbs and spices combine to form a tender loaf of goodness that goes best with creamy mashed potatoes or mac and cheese-the sauce even makes a tangy gravy to smother those classic side dishes! Add some peas or green beans and you have a meal that's sure to warm the heart and the tummy!
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
1.5 Hours
Here's What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend
For the Sauce/Glaze
Here's What You Do
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl and set aside. This sauce will benefit from sitting for a while.
  3. Process the onion and garlic in a food processor until they are very fine-set aside and make sure to save all the liquid with them.
  4. In a large glass bowl mix all the meats together by hand to integrate completely.
  5. Add the onions, garlic, eggs, herbs and spices and water to the meats and continue to mix together by hand until thoroughly combined.
  6. Mix in about 2/3 of the breadcrumbs. This will tighten the meat mixture up so you can form it into loaves. Add the remaining breadcrumbs and more water if needed so that it makes a firm loaf.
  7. Form into a loaf or loaves. Since its 3 pounds of meat, this will make a very large loaf or two or three smaller loaves depending on your needs. Extra loaves can be frozen before cooking or after baking, and saved for another meal.
  8. Spray a roasting pan with non stick spray and set meatloaf on it.
  9. Place the meatloaf in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from oven and lower the oven temp to 325 degrees.
  10. Pour off the excess grease from the roaster, cover with aluminum foil and return to the 325 degree oven for 45 minutes.
  11. After 45 minutes, take the meatloaf out of the oven and uncover. Increase the oven temp to 425 degrees.
  12. Pour the sauce over the meatloaf and return to the 425 degree oven, uncovered. Roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, the sauce should be bubbly and starting to brown. Remove the meatloaf from oven and rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
There is no Nutrition Label for this recipe yet.