Old-Fashioned Holiday Fruit Cake
An excellent recipe for a traditional brandy-glazed fruit cake that cuts into thin, moist slices to reveal jewel-like candied fruits and nuts. Use only the best fruits and nuts for superior results, and prepare a few weeks ahead to allow for ripening.
1 pound candied pineapple, cut into thin match-stick strips
1 pound candied citron, cut into thin match-stick strips
8 ounces candied cherries, quartered
1 (11-ounce) package currants
1 pound dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 pound light figs, coarsely chopped
1 pound pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup water
1/2 granulated sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup peach juice
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
12 large eggs, beaten
Milk for brushing
1/2 cup light molasses
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/2 cup water, fruit juice or brandy
- Place fruit and nuts in a very large glass or non-metallic bowl. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan heat 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to boiling; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in corn syrup, lemon juice and peach juice. Pour over fruit/nut mixture; stir, cover and let stand overnight, stirring 2 or 3 times with a wooden spoon to moisten fruit uniformly.
- Line four 9x5x3-inch baking pans with parchment (baking) paper. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
- In a large bowl combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, baking soda and salt; mixing well. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, then add sugars gradually, beating until light in color. Add beaten eggs and continue to beat until fluffy. Stir in molasses, mixing well. Add flour mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing until just moistened after each addition.
- Turn the cake batter out onto the fruit mixture and gently fold into fruit until well distributed.
- Spoon into prepared pans, packing batter up to within 1/4-inch of the top of pan. Press down and smooth top of batter.
- Brush tops with milk to make a thin film.
- Place pans on a jelly roll pan; set on lower-middle rack of oven and pour water into jelly roll pan 1/4-inch deep.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 250°F (120°C) for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until cake tests done.
- Cool cakes in pans on wire racks. Remove cakes from pans, but leave lining papers attached. Decorate (if desired) and glaze cakes; let dry. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
- For Glaze: Combine ingredients in small saucepan, bring to a boil and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Brush about 2 tablespoons of glaze over each cake while glaze is hot.
- Store in a covered box, or the like, and let ripen a few weeks before serving. Chill in refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before slicing.
Makes 4 (9-inch) loaf fruitcakes.