Erica at Retro Recipe Attempts has gone where no woman or man has gone since at least 1972: No-Bake Festive Fruit Cake! Even back in the day, this seems like one of those recipes that people make once, and then hope everyone else politely refrains from mentioning it ever again.
Srsly, it’s like a time machine to all of those church potluck suppers I attended back in the 1970s as a child. I swear, every single one of those hot (or cold) dishes featured either one or more of the following ingredients: 1) evaporated milk, 2) sweetened condensed milk, 3) graham crackers, 4) marischino cherries, and/or 5) Jell-o. (And that included the main-course dishes, too.)
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a palatable and festive dessert with as many of the same ingredients as you can use, instead of mashing everything up into a weird ball of dough the way this recipe calls for. Here’s your shopping list:
- PET Evaporated Milk
- orange juice or alcoholic flavoring (like Grand Marnier?)
- graham crackers
- candied fruit
Me, I’d recommend doing a kid-friendly Christmas dessert by making s’mores by baking the marshmallows on top of the graham crackers and inviting guests to DIY with the dried and candied fruit and the walnuts, throwing out the PET milk and substituting a slice from one of those chocolate oranges or apples that you get in your Christmas stocking. Hey, that doesn’t sound too darn bad! Maybe I’ll try it the next time I’m snowed in with all of the ingredients for a real fruitcake, plus marshmallows and graham crackers, and we’ve eaten all of the Christmas cookies and cakes and we’re still jonesing for another sweetie.