Christmas is quickly approaching which means the last day to order for the holidays is right around the corner! This season we carry a variety of candied fruit treats, Stollen (sweet German Fruit Cake), Rose Windows (candied fruit cookies), and Almond Wreaths (like a beautiful giant almond danish with candied fruit) that make lovely centerpieces for holiday dinners or parties. Keep in mind that the last day to order holiday cookies is Saturday December 22nd at noon, and the last day for ordering Stollen or anything else is December 23rd at noon!
Candied fruit is a tradition as old as ancient Egypt, dating back at least 4000 years. Every culture seems to have their own variety, from candied citrus peels and chestnuts to dates and cherries, crystallized whole fruits to slices in syrups. They are eaten alone, baked in breads and cookies, cut up in custards, used as decorations for cakes or tarts, and even the occasional garnish for roasted meats. One of our favorite candied fruit traditions is the German Christmas Stollen or Christstollen, a citrusy fruit cake originating around the 15th century in Germany. Back then it was a hard and flavorless cake made with oil since using butter was forbidden during the advent fasting season. In fact it was so boring that Prince Elector Ernst wrote to the Pope asking for special permission to use butter. He had to wait for 5 popes to die before his request was finally granted in 1490, paving the way for the Stollen we know today. After more than 500 years Stollen has transformed into a rich delicate fruit cake, mildly sweet and flavored with hints of citrus and beautifully decorated with candied fruit inside. We recommend serving Stollen in two inch slices toasted in the oven at 400F until the edges brown. A wonderful afternoon treat along side a glass of arancello, limoncello, or even a cup of tea!