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Valerie Gordon’s Fruitcake Blanc

Fruitcakes don’t have to be dense, bulletproof ingots, as can be the stereotype. Valerie Gordon, of Valerie Confections in Echo Park, provided a recipe for her moist, buttery Fruitcake Blanc, or white fruitcake, just in time for Christmas.

Made with blanched almonds, dried pears, apricots and white figs and, naturally, alcohol, Gordon’s version (as prepared by cooking columnist Ben Mims) is easily one of the best fruitcakes I’ve ever sampled. Rich, packed with fruit and with lovely brandy overtones, it takes a little time to prepare but certainly yields a superior result to the commonly available commercial versions which, while beloved by many, just can’t compare with the homemade.

Gordon’s love of fruitcake didn’t begin until slightly later in life. “I never ate fruitcake as a child,” Gordon said, “because my mother always said, ‘You won’t like that’ — and always sort of a dramatic grimace when she said that.”

But in her early 20s, Gordon “really fell in love with holiday cakes.” These days, the confection has been enjoying something of a renaissance, she said. “I think it’s exciting what people have been doing with fruitcakes over the last 20 years — sort of reclaiming them,” she said. “They can be super delicious and approachable and elegant.”

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Fruitcake Blanc

Time 2 hours, plus 3 hours cooling and 24 to 48 hours for soaking fruit, largely unattended
Yields Serves 10 to 12


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