Treats from the ‘Fruitcake Queen’


Fruitcake queen Ju.D Lao has been making American apple pie for her potluck dish for many years now. It’s the same recipe she started using back in the early 1970s, when she was still in school. And since she’s a vegetarian, along with most members of her family, their meals are never centered on meat. Whether for meat eaters or the vegetarians in her family, Ju.D’s American apple pie is always a hit, and she shares the recipe here.

She has also come up with a Tropical Healthy Fruitcake just for this spread. She had always wanted to create a fruitcake that makes use of tropical fruits abundant in the Philippines, but dried tropical fruits are more expensive than the traditional glazed fruits used in fruitcakes, so for business, it’s not viable. For enjoying with the family, though, it’s perfect.


American Apple Pie

For the pie crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Cut butter into small pieces. Add flour and mix together until it has a coarse meal consistency.
  2. Add salt to ice water and pour over flour mixture. Knead to form into a ball.
  3. Divide dough into two, then roll into two round pie crusts.

For the filling:

  • 5-6  apples
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  1. Peel and slice apples. Place in a bowl and mix with sugar, cinnamon, tapioca, and lemon juice.
  2. Line one pie plate with a pie crust. Pour apple mixture over pie crust. Top with dollops of butter.
  3. Cover with the second pie crust, seal the edges, and brush surface with egg wash. Sprinkle with additional mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350˚F oven for 40 minutes. Makes one pie.


Tropical Healthy Fruitcake
  • 1 cup dried mangoes
  • 1 cup dried pineapple
  • 1 cup dried coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups rum
  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds + 2 cups coconut flour for dredging
  • 1-1/2 cups coconut oil
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups Cocoro coco rock sugar
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup Palawan honey
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder + 2 cups coconut flour
  1. In a bowl, combine dried mangoes, pineapple, and coconut. Soak in 1-1/2 cups rum overnight.
  2. When ready to make fruitcakes, dredge pumpkin seeds with coconut flour, then mix into the dried fruits mixture.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with coconut oil and sugar. Pour in rum and vanilla extract. Add nutmeg, allspice, honey, and baking powder-coconut flour mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add dried fruits mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix just until combined and ingredients are well distributed.
  5. Pour into two loaf pans lined with baking paper. Decorate top with slices of dried mangoes, pineapple, coconut, and halved glazed cherries.
  6. Bake in a preheated 325˚F oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  7. Age by brushing with one cup rum every week. Makes two loaves.

Photographs by Rafael R. Zulueta

Read more of fruitcake queen Ju.D Lao’s routine on Asian Dragon Magazine’s November – December 2015 issue, available for download on Magzter.


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