This is my mom’s recipe, and she always made it for the holidays. It’s one of my in-laws’ favorite things, so I usually make it more than once a year. Now that we’re having a bumper crop of pecans, I don’t feel like I need to ration it so much. I make regular loaf size, and small loaves for gifts. The original recipe had candied pineapple in it, but I decided it was better with just lots of pecans, candied cherries, and dates. OK it’s kind of a fruitcake, but we all hated fruitcake, so mom made this recipe without citron or liquor, and it’s awesome.
- 1 1/2 lbs dates, chopped
- 1 l/2 lbs whole candied cherries*
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6-8 large eggs (I usually use 8)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 lbs pecan halves
- Grease loaf pans and you may want to use parchment in the bottom of the pans. I use aluminum loaf pans - 3 large and 2 small. I like the pliability of aluminum for the removal of the loaves.
- Use an extra large mixing bowl. Place dates and cherries in the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl beat eggs until frothy, then add the sugar to them and mix well.
- Add the eggs and sugar to the flour and mix well. Pour over fruit in large bowl and mix well.
- Add the pecans, and at this point you may have to mix with your hands. It's messy and oh so worth it.
- Now spoon, spatula, or place handfuls into greased tins. This is my most unfavorite part, because it's so sticky!
- Bake 250° for 1 3/4 hours. If you wrap the loaves in heavy foil when they cool, you can store in fridge for 6 months.
- *There's no substitute for candied cherries. They are typically only available in grocery stores during the holidays.