Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Candied Fruit Cake

This is my mother's recipe for fruitcake. It is a rich, delicious fruity concoction that has almost no cake. I have changed the recipe somewhat and use it basically as a blueprint.  Generally, use about 3 pounds of candied and or dried fruits. Just keep the proportion of fruit to cake batter the same. This year I made it with fewer cherries and less pineapple, and added golden raisins, candied orange peel, and apricots. Don't swap out the dates. Ama B always said that they were the glue that holds the cake together. Use one 9 inch spring form cake pan or a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. I sometimes use the small bread pans. This recipe doubles easily.

1-2 days ahead:
Place in a big bowl and sprinkle generously with brandy, bourbon, or rum:

2 10 ounce packages pitted dates,chopped
1/2 pound candied pineapple
1/2 pound candied cherries
1/4 pound candied lemon
1/4 pound candied citron
You may also add raisins, dried apricots,chopped, dried cherries
4 cups pecan halves (Chopped pecans will allow the cake to slice better, halves are prettier)

Let stand 1-2 days.

Mix together in a small bowl:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp double acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Add flour and egg mixture to fruit mixture and mix together with a large metal spoon or your hand.

Preheat oven to 275.

Prepare your pans:
Spray with Baker's Secret (oil and flour mixed). Cut a piece of parchment paper to line the pan and spray paper with Baker's Secret. The paper doesn't have to cover all sides, just 2 sides and the bottom.

Pack batter into pans, pressing down and bake until top of cake looks dry and toothpick comes out clean-about 1 1/4 hours for spring form pan, 1 1/2 hour for loaf pan, 45 minutes for small loaf pans.

Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes. Turn out on racks and let cool completely. Remove paper. Wrap in cheesecloth, place on aluminum foil and sprinkle generously with brandy, bourbon, or rum. Wrap up in aluminum foil. These will ripen and get better in a month or so.
Unwrap and sprinkle with more liquor every couple of weeks.

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