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July 8, 2011

Poor Man's Fruit Cake

Many fruit cakes have a lot of fruit in them. Why does this only have raisins? It's all in the title! Poor Man's Fruit Cake was made by those that couldn't afford many of the lavish fruits to put into it.

I've made this recipe for my grandma a few times now and she absolutely loves it.

Poor Man's Fruit Cake

3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup molasses
3 cups raisins
1 cup sour milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice

First, flour the raisins with 4 tbsp. flour. I put the raisins in a big bowl and mix it with the flour. The original recipe also states to cut the raisins in half, but I've never done that and it has come out just fine.

Next, dissolve baking soda in 1 tbsp. water. Add this to the sour milk. I'm pretty sure you used to be able to buy sour milk at the store, but I don't think it's available anymore. To make one cup of sour milk yourself, set out the milk and let it get to room temperature. If you don't have time for it to reach room temperature, you can always put it in the microwave for a few seconds. Once it is the right temperature, add 1 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice and stir. You will soon notice the milk start to curdle.

After you add the dissolved baking soda to the sour milk, beat. Add molasses and beat some more.

Next, add the melted butter. Stir in the flour and brown sugar. Add in the spices and beat well.

Last, stir in the raisins. Once completely mixed, put in a greased bread pan.

Bake in a moderate oven for one hour. A lot of recipes from this time period used directions such as slow, quick, moderate or fast oven. There are sites online that will help you decipher what degree to set your oven to. For a moderate oven, this can be anywhere from 350 to 375 degrees.

For this recipe I put it at 375 degrees for one hour.

Once it is done, it will look like this:





When it is done baking, you will now want to make a syrup to baste the cake with.

Boil 4 tbsp. sugar, 3 tbsp. water and 2 tsp. currant or grape jelly. Cook until boiling and then spread over the cake.

This cake is great for breakfast with a cup of coffee or hot tea. Enjoy!



This recipe is from: Ice Creams, Water Ices, Frozen Puddings Together With Refreshments for All Social Affairs by S.T. Rorer. (Note: While I couldn't find a date for this recipe, S.T. Rorer was born in 1849 and died in 1937, so I suspect the recipe date is somewhere between those dates.)

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