Storing and Serving Fruitcake
Have you been fortunate enough to receive a fruitcake at Christmas? Or, have you decided to create your own? Whether you’ve gotten your fruitcake as a gift or are embarking on a labor of love, you may be faced with the dilemma of how to store and serve your fruitcake.
Because fruitcake is so dense and rich, serving sizes are usually rather small and a fruitcake can last for many months, even years. Therefore, it is imperative to store your fruitcake properly so that the flavor is not adversely effected. Whether you have baked the cake yourself or received it as agift, it is best to remove all paper and packaging and wrap the cake in cheese cloth. Sprinkle or spray the cheesecloth with the same type of liquor used to soak the fruit or the liquor of your choice if liquor was not used in the cake. The cake should then be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight plastic storage bag or container.
Fruitcakes taste better when the are ‘ripe’. Proper ripening takes at least one month. Once they are properly wrapped, cakes should be stored in a cool place or in a refrigerator. Fruitcakes should be brushed or spritzed weekly with liquor to maintain moisture and intensify flavors. If you plan to freeze your fruitcake, make sure to allow at least four weeks for the cake to ripen before you freeze it as flavors will not further meld in the freezer.
Fruitcake is typically thought of as the perfect dessert to complete a festive holiday meal. While this is the favorite choice of many, consider other options such as…fruitcake for breakfast! Simply cut half-inch slices of fruit cake and lightly toast in the toaster oven. Serve with plain or honey-walnut cream cheese. Or, try fruitcake French toast. Dip half-inch slices of fruitcake in eggnog and then set on a hot griddle. Allow to brown and turn over and cook the opposite side until golden. Serve immediately with freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee or tea.
What about serving fruitcake as an hors d’oeuvre? Chill fruitcake and cut into one-inch cubes with a sharp serrated knife. Arrange on a platter with one-inch cubes of sharp cheddar cheese or softened Brie or Camembert. Serve with a bold red wine or champagne. However you slice it, fruitcake is delicious any time of day!