YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

You Asked About . . .

Starter for Friendship Fruitcake

December 12, 1985|MINNIE BERNARDINO | Times Staff Writer

Question: Do you have the recipe for the starter for Friendship Fruitcake? I have two recipes, but one calls for the fruit from the starter and the other a starter liquid. I've tasted the cake and it was moist and delicious.

A friend said she once was given the starter to make a cake but she couldn't trace the starter recipe as everyone just seemed to have been given the starter. The starter, she said, could be increased by adding more sugar and more canned fruit. But what I want is the initial recipe. Help! I've been searching for this for a long time.

Answer: We've had several requests, too, for this particular recipe. The fruit mixture, sometimes called "Vintage Fruit," contains yeast and continues to ferment and grows potent upon age. Aside from being used in cakes, it may be spooned as a fruit sauce over ice cream or other desserts.

Here is the fruit starter recipe tested by the home economists of Maid of Scandinavia Co. as printed in the reader recipe column of their monthly magazine called Mailbox News, November issue. The recipe was originally shared by Marjorie McMullan of Missouri:



3/4 cup canned sliced peaches with heavy syrup

3/4 cup canned pineapple chunks with heavy syrup

1 (4-ounce) jar red maraschino cherries, drained and halved

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 package dry yeast

Additional 1/2 cup sliced peaches with heavy syrup

Additional 1/2 cup pineapple with heavy syrup

Combine 3/4 cup peaches with syrup, 3/4 cup pineapple chunks with syrup, cherries, sugar and yeast in gallon glass jar with wide-mouth lid. Stir yeast well with syrup. Stir twice with long wooden spoon on first day. Keep loosely covered. Do not refrigerate. Stir once a day thereafter for two weeks.

After two weeks, add additional 1/2 cup peaches and 1/2 cup pineapple with syrup. Let stand several days, stirring daily, then drain about 2 cups mixed fruit and use to make cake as directed in cake recipe.

The starter can be renewed by reserving 1 1/2 cups starter juice. Place this in glass gallon jar and count this as Day 1 and begin process for renewing starter. Mixture should be stirred faithfully each day.


1 1/2 cups reserved starter juice


1 (2-pound) can sliced peaches with heavy syrup

2 (1-pound) cans pineapple chunks with heavy syrup or 1 (1-pound) can pineapple chunks with heavy syrup and 1 (1-pound) can fruit cocktail

2 (4-ounce) jars maraschino cherries, drained and halved

On Day 1, combine starter juice with 1 1/2 cups sugar and peaches with syrup.

On Day 2, add to starter mixture 2 1/2 cups sugar and pineapple chunks, undrained.

On Day 20, add to starter mixture 2 1/2 cups sugar and maraschino cherries (if desired combine red and green maraschino cherries).

On Day 30, drain fruit, reserving 1 1/2 cups starter juice for renewing starter again, starting with Day 1. Use drained fruit to make 3 cakes. Give excess starter to friends (you will have enough for 3 to 4 people) if desired.

For those who do not have the Friendship cake recipes, simply add 1 3/4 cups drained starter fruit to any standard cake mix following recipe instructions on the package. Instead of fruit, the starter liquid may also be used, replacing the liquid called for on the package.

Address questions on food preparation to You Asked About, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Personal replies cannot be given.

Los Angeles Times Articles