Rich Fruit Cake Recipe From Monticello

Monticello in Charlottesville, Va., shares a favorite fruit cake recipe from holiday season parties of the time. Enjoy its old-fashioned charm.
Snowy Mountaintops of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Home

Monticello in the Snow

Photo courtesy of Monticello.

Recipe courtesy of Monticello.

No menus of dinners at Monticello have survived. Visitors to the President's House from 1801 to 1809 did provide some information on specific dishes. Monticello's Culinary Historian Leni Sorensen recommends Mary Randolph's The Virginia Housewife as the best source of recipes that most likely would have been served at Monticello. Mary Randolph was Thomas Jefferson's daughter Martha's sister-in-law. There was much contact between the Monticello family and Mrs. Randolph (in Richmond) in the ten years before Jefferson's death.

Ingredients:

Have the following articles prepared before you begin the cake; four pounds of flour dried and sifted; four pounds of butter washed to free it from salt; two pounds of loaf sugar pounded, a quarter of a pound of mace, the same of nutmegs powdered; wash four pounds of currants clean, pick and dry them, blanch one pound of sweet almonds, and cut them in very thin slices, stone two pounds of raisins, cut them in two, and strew a little flour over, to prevent their sticking together, and two pounds of citron sliced thin; break thirty eggs, separating the yolks and whites.

Directions:

Work the butter to a cream with your hand, put in, alternately flour, sugar, and the froth from both whites and yolks, which must be beaten separately, and only the froth put in. When all are mixed, and the cake looks very light, add the spice, with half a pint of brandy, the currants and almonds; butter the mold well, pour in part of the cake, strew over it some raisins and citron, do this until all is in: set it in a well heated oven, when it has risen, and the top is colored, cover it with paper; it will require three hours baking-it must be iced.

Next Up

9 Christmas Gifts You Can Put in a Mason Jar

Need a last-minute gift or the perfect way to present a gift card? These easy gifts in Mason jars should do the trick!

Make a Great First Impression With These Perfect Gifts for Meeting the Family

Meeting your significant other's family for the first time this holiday season? We've got you covered with thoughtful gift ideas guaranteed to make a great first impression.

Pink Snowball Cake Recipe

This cake is sure to be the center of attention at any spring or Easter gathering. Bake a dome-shaped chocolate cake, fill with marshmallow creme, frost with pastel pink icing and top with toasted coconut.

Gift or Enjoy: Endlessly Customizble Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Whether you're gifting them or serving them at a holiday party, we'll help you fill your Christmas cookie tray with ease. We’ve formulated one easy shortbread dough to be the base for three different cookie flavors. Cranberry-Orange and Toffee-Chocolate Chip are enticing and holiday appropriate, while Smoked Cheddar-Jalapeño offers an unexpected savory bite. Whatever their favorite flavor — this sweet or savory shortbread cookie recipe promises something for everyone.

Endlessly Customizable Layered Cheesecake Bars

Just one pan of these 3-in-1 cheesecake bars will fill your entire dessert tray or a Christmas tin for gifting. Get creative by swapping in your own fillings and toppings, or use our easy guide for the season’s most tempting flavors: Cookies ‘n Cream, Peppermint Patty and Pecan Pie. They all come from one pan and the variety is sure to please a crowd.

How to Make a Scratch-Off Card for Father's Day

Give Dad a break this year with a DIY scratch-off lotto-style card with prizes like breakfast in bed, a free pass from mowing the lawn and a car wash.

The Best Stocking Stuffers Under $50 for Women

Show the ladies in your life how much you care with these thoughtful (and budget-friendly) stocking stuffer ideas.

36 Best Gifts for In-Laws

Find unique and thoughtful gifts for the bonus relatives on your list.

25 Ornaments Under $30 That Make Great Gifts

These thoughtful Christmas ornaments are proof that good things really do come in small packages.

Homemade Christmas Cookies for Dogs Recipe

No pups on the naughty list here! Santa knows that all dogs are nice year-round, so they deserve a special homemade holiday treat. Chicken broth and sweet potato give these cut-out cookies the flavor of a holiday dinner, while nutritional yeast gives them cheesy flavor without adding any dairy products.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.