Fruitcake versus Pie

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Molly Young is a Good Food listener who emailed us about her love of fruitcake. She says that as one of three children, and the only girl, she had an adaptive advantage at the dessert table because she was the only one who liked fruitcake.

Here is a list of Young’s favorite cakes:
June Taylor makes a more traditional Christmas cake with brandy. Her fruits—both the dried and preserved bits—are organic and macerated in port.

Dean & DeLuca's Cake aux Fruits Confits makes a good introductory cake for beginners, since the ratio of chunks to batter is more modest. That said, the batter is quite rich — a pound cake, really — so it is no less indulgent.

Bien Fait is a little bakery in Vermont which makes a great brandy fruitcake. No candied fruit in this, but a good booze flavor and pleasantly heavy hand with the figs. Not as dense as other fruitcakes, so you might try toasting and buttering a slice.

Our Lady of Guadalupe makes its fruitcake with all the bells and whistles we associate, for better or worse, with American fruitcakes: pineapple, candied cherries, raisins, pecans,, preservatives. It takes the form of an extraordinarily dense rectangle. I love it.

Young also recommends these two classic pieces of fruitcake literature: Laurie Colwin's "Black Cake," in Home Cooking, and Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory."