Looking for a memorable holiday gift? Think Beekman 1802 Generous Fruitcake. It’s studded with nuts, dried fruit, and soaked with booze. What’s not to love?
I don’t like fruitcake. I never have, I never…well, that’s what I thought until I received an unassuming brown paper package tied up with string. (Yes, meine liebchen, you can break out into song now.)
It was the Beekman 1802 Generous Fruitcake, from, of course, the Beekman Boys. Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge have had America in their thrall ever since the popular TV show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys, which chronicles their city-to-country move, first aired. I may have lied a bit about the package tied up with string. But The Boys do tie up their goat-milk soap with string. I took a bit of creative license. So sue me.
The “generous” in the name of the fruitcake doesn’t refer to the size of this blonde beauty, but rather Generous, the housekeeper to William Beekman, the original owner of the 19th-century mansion where The Boys now live, who was known for her liquor-laced holiday cakes. Weighing in at 1 1/2 pounds, the cake certainly fits the adjective “generous,” though.
What I love about the fruitcake is that it’s not that dark, menacing, brick-of-a-thing studded with so many pieces of neon-colored fruit it can be seen from space. Rather it’s loaded with natural dried figs, dates, dried apricots, golden and dark raisins, dried cherries, dried pineapple, pecans, and, mercifully, Laird’s Applejack. If that weren’t enough, the cake comes swaddled in brandy-soaked cheesecloth. The Boys explain that “as the cake is consumed, keep the remainder wrapped and continue to brush the cloth with your own brandy or spirit of choice. The flavors will continue to develop.”
Is it homey? Yes. Is it moist? Very? Is it all gone? Absolutely. The One, who is, shockingly, a fan of those shot put-like fruitcakes of yore, sniffed around this one suspiciously. It wasn’t treacly, it wasn’t heavy, it didn’t look like someone had baked a string of Christmas lights inside. But one bite and he was hooked. Since then, we’ve had it for dessert with homemade Licor de Leite sprinkled over top, for a snack out of hand, and for breakfast lightly toasted and slathered with salted butter. Ain’t no better recommendation than that.