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Bite by Bite
Kathy Stephenson
Kathy Stephenson has been the food writer at The Tribune since 2000. A Utah native, Stephenson's first job was picking zucchini on her grandparent's Kaysville farm. Every Christmas, Stephenson's neighbors and colleagues look forward to getting a plate of her baklava. Last year, she gave away nearly 300 pieces.

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Fruitcake isn't just for the holidays. The Fruitcake Extravaganza will be Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, in Price.
On the hunt for old-fashioned fruitcake

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Confession time: I love fruit cake. Laugh if you must.

But I’m not alone. Last week, Salt Lake Tribune reader Scott Ford asked if there was a local bakery where he could buy a homemade — not processed — fruitcake for his wife who is ill.

I quickly went on a fruitcake finding mission and discovered several Utah bakeries that made German stollen and Italian panettone. While these are definitely delicious, they are not the moist brown loaf filled with nuts, spices and those signature red and green candied fruit that Ford (and I) wanted.

I had almost given up, when someone introduced me to David McMurray. The Salt Lake City consultant and musician likes to make gourmet desserts in his spare time. His specialty is marzipan. But this year, he also happened to make 14 loaves of fruitcake.

He made them in late November, loading them up with those aforementioned holiday fruits and nuts. He stored them in a cool place and brushed them weekly with sherry — the secret to moist, great-tasting fruitcake. And when they were ready, he covered with his homemade marzipan (see photo) like they do in Europe.

McMurray’s family and friends placed dibs on most of the loaves a few weeks ago, but Ford and I were able to snag the last two loaves.

I’m happy to report that the fruitcake defied all the stereotypes — it was moist and sweet and definitely worth the search.

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