A couple days ago I saw a store display of colorful dried or candied fruit that was clearly meant for fruitcake and so I've been thinking about fruitcake. Fruitcake, some say, is a nasty unwanted (and probably dry brick-like) thing. This has become a joke in The Single Fruitcake Theory: "There is only one fruitcake and people keep sending it to each other." Others say that sure, bad fruitcake can be a dry brick that might only be budged by thermonuclear weaponry, but there is good fruitcake if only you can find or make the stuff.
I've not encountered the truly miserable fruitcake, but I suppose I've sampled some so-so stuff due to the effects of commercial mass production. And now I'm pondering making a fruitcake so that I have control the quality - or lack thereof. But I haven't done this before and I have no idea what a good recipe is. There are several variations.
Some recipes soak the thing in rum. Others call for brandy. Others call for whisk(e)y. Some say substitute orange juice for the spirits, while others don't mention any spirits at all. So one question is: spirits or not? If so, which? And if brandy, which flavor? I'm not a huge fan of apricot. I don't really dislike apricot, I'm just not that fond of it.
Another question is, should I do this? I don't mean in the "Aie! A fruitcake! Run!" sense, but I've mainly just been baking cookies (scratch), simple bread (scratch), and the odd cake (mix). Is this a reasonable step or a flying leap?
And of course there is the Big Question even assuming the others are answered and I proceed: Which recipe ought I go with?