Over a cup of coffee: A new twist on a holiday staple

On Monday, I received a delightful call from Mrs. Earl (Beulah) Kline of Craig. She said she had "dumped" a fruitcake out of a tube pan, it fell apart and she wanted the readers to know what she did to save the cake.

Beulah cooked up some lemon pudding, and while it was still hot, she crumbled up the fruitcake and added it to the pudding. She took the pudding fruitcake to the Senior Citizens Luncheon where it was a hit.

So, if you don't like fruitcake or you have a mishap with one, like Beulah did, try her tip. Beulah says you can cut a cake into cubes (instead of crumbling it) before putting it in the pudding.

Beulah told me that she has usually made an orange candy fruitcake from a recipe that she found in the "Farm Journal" years ago. Nowadays however, she usually makes an Eagle Brand fruitcake, and she graciously shares the recipe with us. To make "Beulah's Fruitcake," you need: 1 can Eagle Brand sweetened, condensed milk (or the store brand); 1/2 pound shredded coconut, 1/2 pound pecans, 1/2 pound candied pineapple, 1/2 pound candied cherries; and 1/2 pound dates.

Chop the dates. Cut the pineapple into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on its size, and halve or quarter the cherries. Cut up the pecans.

Preheat the oven to 250 to 275 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and line the bottom of the pan with waxed paper or foil. Beulah says baking parchment might also work, but she hasn't tried it.

Mix all of the fruit, nuts and coconut with the milk.

It will take a lot of stirring.

Pack the mixture tightly in the loaf pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 250 to 275 degrees. Put a pan of water in the oven with the cake.

Once it's baked, cut with an electric knife; or according to Beulah, "use a lot of elbow grease and a good, sharp knife."

The cake keeps fine in the refrigerator.

I want to try Beulah's recipe but need to get the ingredients. I'm putting it in this week's column so you have time to try it.

"Time" is what I don't have a lot of. That's why I resort to recipes like "Fastest Fudge in the West," printed in "the Fence Post" awhile back. It was contributed by Margaret Anklam of Arnegard, N.D. It's a good recipe. You'll need: 1 can Eagle Brand milk, 2 (8-ounce) Hershey bars and nuts, if desired.

Mix the milk and chocolate together and melt in a double boiler or microwave. Cook on high for 3 minutes if using the microwave.

Cream together the chocolate and milk. Add nuts. Pour into an 8-by-8-inch buttered pan. It sets immediately and is creamy. I cover mine and keep it in the refrigerator.

Do you have a recipe to share? Call me at 824-8809 or send it to me at Box 415, Craig 81626. Thanks so much for the recipe and tip, Beulah.

Copyright Diane Prather, 2007. All rights reserved.

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