Four and twenty blackbirds baked into a pie

30 Nov
So I finally found a couple of springform pans for the Christmas cakes, after looking in Canadian Tire, Superstore, Tea Coffee & Spice (where they were selling "no-leak" springform pans for $69!), and finally Home Hardware.  After much huffing and puffing and a phone call to Marian about technique for tying brown paper to the outside of the pans, I finally got the cakes in the oven.  Where they stayed for 3 1/2 hours.  I don’t think I’ve ever baked anything that needed so long in the oven, other than a turkey!  (And goose, of course.)
Despite my fears of a jinxed day, it seems the cakes came out alright.  There’s no way to know for sure until we actually try eating some a few weeks from now, of course, but in the meantime, there’s still the "pickling" process (brushing brandy on a couple of times), and then the layers of almond paste and icing for the crowning touch.  And then we’ll see if the time and effort was worth it or if I managed to muff it up somehow!
I was very surprised at the proportion of fruit to dough.  As I made the dough batter I thought, "This doesn’t look like enough for two cakes!"  In fact, I think the fruit actually takes up more space.  Which makes sense, when you actually look at at a piece of fruitcake and see that it is mostly fruit.  The details one doesn’t notice!  (I know this is just thrilling…)
While I waited for the Christmas cakes to bake, I took the time to make some pizzas for freezing.  Mmm, whole wheat crust (cheated — store-bought!), barbequed chicken, spinach, and feta, topped with mozzarella.  Gosh, I’m making me hungry.

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