A decade ago I tasted Robert Lambert’s White Fruit Cake and it forever changed my mind about how great fruit cake could be. Since then it’s been one of our most popular gifts. Now it’s time to double down. Dark fruit cake, so named for the color of the batter and its dusky flavor, follows the nature's rhythm, dark follows the light.
He starts by candying exotic citrus fruits himself like Buddha’s hand citron, bergamot, blood orange, Texas lemon and white grapefruit peels. He adds hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, dark raisins, cherries, prunes, black figs and dried pears soaked in Poire William eau de vie—oh yes, there's more—dates, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, 10-year-old Ficklin port, and a bit of candied ginger. Then, wait for it...he soaks it all in bourbon. Each cake is topped with a cedar sprig and a cut out star made of candied blood orange peel.
Like everything Robert creates, these cakes are made by hand, in small-batches with an obsessive attention to detail. The flavor is phenomenal. Keep cold, slice thin, serve chilled.
Kept cool and well wrapped in the fridge, a fruitcake will keep for years. (The old tradition of saving your wedding cake for an anniversary? It started with a fruitcake.) As they age, vintage fruitcakes develop deeper, more complex flavors, rather like a good bottle of wine.
Comes wrapped in a muslin bag.
"The champagne of fruit cakes."
Oprah's O Magazine
"This [fruit cake] hand-made by Robert Lambert is the baking-spice spicy Cadillac version of the American style. A thorough list of ingredients yields complex, long-lasting flavors. Nothing else we’ve tasted comes anywhere close."
Ed Behr, The Art of Eating
"WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! I'd put a few more in, but even the WOWs don't do it justice! If I died eating a piece of this - life would be complete!... My wife who does NOT like fruit cake tried a small morsel - her reaction was, my god - this is unbelievable! Well, I'll clearly have to hide my precious confection!"
Rich, Monroe Township, NJ