Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eats - Black Fruitcake

Hello! In years past, we have visited The Jampot, located in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula; my husband would buy their jams and jellies by the case. The charming store, run by an order of monks, also sells a number of baked goods. I always wanted to try some, but was too cheap to buy them. 

Their fruitcakes tempted me the most, particularly the one described HEREIt did, indeed, look quite dark sitting on the counter at The Jampot, and, like most of the fruitcakes sold there, has little in the way of those icky, sticky candied fruits (in fact, some of their fruitcakes have no candied fruit at all). 

I would idly think about making a Jamaican Black Cake of my own, but never did so until a month ago. Earlier this fall I had purchased Gifts From A Country Kitchen at a used book sale, and took note of the recipe for black fruitcake. Other than candied cherries, the other fruits in the recipe were dried. What's more, I had almost all the dried fruits already on hand, and decided to use dried cherries instead of the candied ones. 

I didn't have candied orange peel, but did have some fresh oranges that needed to be used up, so I made my own candied peel, an easily-accomplished feat. 

I did make an important substitution though - the recipes calls for soaking the fruits and nuts in rum. I don't care for rum, but had bourbon, so I used that instead. I suppose this makes my black fruitcake more Southern than Jamaican. (to that end, I also swapped pecans for the called-for almonds).

After baking, the fruitcake needed to age for at least a month. As of today, a month had passed, so it was time to unwrap it and taste-test:

Behold, a solid black fruitcake. It was baked in a 9x5 pan.

Sliced, you can see the chunks of dried fruit. The fruitcake is loaded with figs, prunes, raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries and dates (plus that candied orange peel). 

As I'm planning on giving some of the cake away to various friends and family, I had to taste it first to make sure it had turned out okay, right? The verdict: rich, moist and flavorful. It's definitely not the sort of thing to gobble down in huge slices, but I'm pleased with how it turned out! 

(For more information on The Jampot, visit their site, which can be found HERE. If you're ever in the Keweenaw Peninsula, it's worth a stop).



  1. I loved visiting the Jampot! Even though I have only been there once. I used to receive their mailings. I did buy a couple of their muffins when I was there and they were wonderful. Thanks for sharing a piece of this cake with me. It was so good! I really must make one myself for Christmas next year. This is not the fruitcake that is the butt of all the jokes. This is a serious dessert.

  2. One more thing, could you expand upon how you made the candied orange peel?

  3. Thanks for the compliment on the fruitcake! First one I ever made, so I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'll give you the recipes for it and for the candied orange peel.