A moist take on fruitcake
Delicious, yet simple, apple fruitcake makes a wonderful dessert
Not your granny's fruitcake: Fruity, nutty and festive. This delicious, yet simple, vegan fruitcake makes a wonderful lunch or dinner dessert.
Choose the apples depending upon your taste buds. Granny Smiths offer a tart snap, while Fujis taste sweeter. My favorite apple is Jonagold, which combines the best qualities of Granny Smiths and Fujis.
• Use dark raisins. Golden varieties might be bleached.
• Vary the sweet or tart taste, besides changing apple varieties, by substituting dried cherries or dried cranberries for raisins.
• Replacing traditional fats and salt with alternatives provides a healthy boost. Miso, Japanese fermented soybean paste, adds a salty, unique burst of flavor. Tahini, a Middle Eastern butter made from sesame seeds, gives the cake body.
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Makes: 8 slices
Note: We also found that a mix of 1 cup whole-wheat flour and 1 cup bread flour worked well in this fruitcake.
2 cups raisins
1¾ cups apple juice
2 cups whole-wheat bread flour
2 medium apples, cored, peeled, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
¾ cup walnuts, about 1/4-inch pieces
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons tahini
1½ tablespoons miso
¼ cup applesauce
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook raisins in apple juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until liquid just begins to boil. Cover; turn off flame.
2. Stir flour, apples, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves together in a bowl.
3. In a second bowl, whisk the tahini, miso, applesauce, lemon zest and juice until smooth and creamy. Whisk in the apple juice and raisins. Pour the flour mixture into the tahini mixture; stir until all dry ingredients are incorporated. You will have a very thick batter.
4. Press the batter firmly into a well-oiled 8 1/2- or 9-inch bread pan. Bake, 1 hour, 25 minutes, covering with tin foil after 50 minutes. Let the cake cool, about 15 minutes; run a sharp knife down the sides of the pan. Turn the cake out from the pan; let cool at least an hour before slicing. Use a serrated knife for thinner slices. Garnish with fresh fruit slices.
Per slice: 388 calories, 11 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 71 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 199 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.
Kay Stepkin is a vegetarian cooking instructor and former owner of a vegetarian restaurant/whole-grain bakery. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.