Leave candied cherries, candied pineapple pieces and pecans whole. I use a full pound of cherries, a pound of pineapple and a quart of hand shelled pecans. When I arrived in south Georgia in 1961, I was introduced to White Fruitcake and fell in love. White fruitcake has coconut and golden raisins, which are made from white grapes.
Omit any fruit peel and citron. Citrons are a field weed here. Mr. Floyd Allen used to walk every 40-acre field here in late fall and pick up citrons so they could not grow the following year. I am not a fan of candied fruit peel either unless you candied some kumquats.
Dates are okay if you like dates, my Mother did. She called it Date Nut Cake even though it was full of cherries and pineapple too. Years ago I used to just use Date Bread Mix and add fruit. I gave up mixes since then.
MIL seasoned her fruitcakes by packing them in a 5 gallon lard can with fresh whole apples for weeks. Fruitcake is tasty fresh from the oven, let me tell you. A ripened fruitcake that tastes of apple is better than any spirits soaked fruitcake that I ever ate, if you can wait for one to reach that point.
Homemade vanilla is better than boughten, but if you must buy it, get PURE vanilla, not imitation. It isn't cheap, pure vanilla. Homemade is dear because of the price of vanilla beans which come from a certain orchid plant, not because of the cheap vodka they're soaked in. My neighbor made Vanilla Flavoring this year. I put about 2 tablespoons in my fruitcake.
I am not posting a recipe. Every year I get out my first fruitcake recipe, scribbled on the back of something with a date on it: 1964. I read that recipe, then I read Miz Jimmie Hatcher's White Fruitcake Recipe, different only in that she didn't add coconut. I read Mr. Darsey Nicholson's recipe that he had me hand copy from his own copy just before he died.
Pure Vanilla in the bottle with green label.
Mrs. Lenorah's finest homemade.
Mr. Darsey used only a pound and a half of mixed fruit, which contains citron and peel. He didn't add coconut, either. I forget where the idea for coconut came from, but it sure is tasty. I just dredge all the fruits and nuts in flour and make a pound cake batter to mix in. This year I didn't add nutmeg and cinnamon. Mr. Darsey used rum or brandy flavoring; Miz Jimmie used a half ounce each of vanilla and lemon flavorings. I believe homemade pure Vanilla is the very best flavoring.
There's a little bit of fruitcake left in every one of us ~ Jimmy Buffet