Guest post by Antonella Delfino
I love Christmas and everything around it! One of my favorite things is getting all the cooking going. Christmas tables have amazing food, so I don’t understand why we only cook them once a year. I guess it must be to make this day more special, and because there’s no other time in the year when we can afford to spend whole days in the kitchen. Today I want to share with you a recipe that belongs to my mom and is one of my favorites. We simply call it The Christmas Cake.
The Christmas cake is present every year in my family’s Holiday table and everyone is totally in love with it. We make it with applesauce and a variety of dried fruits, and the best thing about it is the texture: it’s spongy, moist and chewy in some parts.
The preparation takes a long time, but is easy. In my house we prepare everything from scratch, but you can reduce the time if you buy ready-made applesauce. Another tip is to use a food processor to chop the dried fruit, but if you don’t have one you can do it with a knife. Personally, I prefer the knife, but this just adds more time to the already lengthy preparation.
- • ½ cup butter, room temperature
- • 1 cup sugar
- • 1 egg
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- • ½ cup golden raisins, chopped
- • ½ cup prunes, chopped
- • 1 cup pecans, chopped
- • ½ cup apricots, chopped
- • 1 cup applesauce (no sugar) or 3 apples
- • 2 cup all-purpose flour
- • 2 teaspoons baking powder
- • ½ teaspoon baking soda
- If you want to make the applesauce, peel, core and chop the apples. Put them in a saucepan over medium heat. Add ½ cup water, and cook for 20 minutes. When the apples are falling apart pass them through a strainer. Cool. (This can be made in advance.)
- Preheat the oven to 350F°
- Beat the butter with the sugar, until the mixture is creamy, (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs and beat for 2 more minutes.
- In a bowl combine dried fruits and ½ cup flour, stir and reserve.
- Add the applesauce to the butter mixture and sift the remaining flour, baking powder and baking soda over it.
- Incorporate the vanilla and the dried fruits, and stir.
- Grease and line a baking pan with parchment paper. You can use a round baking pan, a loaf pan, or any other Christmas baking pan. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is cooked through and golden.