OK, 'fess up. When it comes to holiday fruitcake, are you a lover or a hater?
I will easily confess to being a nearly indiscriminate lover of fruitcake. I love moist, dense, dark cakes studded with lots and lots of interesting things, so all but the most neon green artificially colored candied fruit gets an indulgent pass from me.
Having said that, I do enjoy home-baked fruitcake the most, of course. It's just that this whole genre of old-fashioned, dense, and rich cake is really the sort of thing I like. I also have nostalgic memories of eating fruitcake at Christmas, and of course of Truman Capote's sweet, melancholy story about baking the Christmas fruitcake.
• Read Capote's Fruitcake Weather: A Christmas Memory
If you would like to nod to fruitcake but want to get away from the more traditional (and unnaturally colored) candied fruits, try something with dried fruit instead. Here are a couple recipes that really hit the spot for me:
• Sticky Spiked Double-Apple Cake with a Brown Sugar-Brandy Sauce
• Cranberry Cake
What are your own fruitcake memories, good and bad? Do you ever bake your own fruitcake? I had intended to try Laurie Colwin's Jamaican Black Cake this year, but I may have already run out of time.
Related: Good Products: Quality Candied Fruit and Citron