With Christmas about 6 weeks away, it’s time to make the Christmas fruitcake. My husband likes dark fruitcake and I like light fruitcake, so I make a compromise version, somewhere in between. It’s easy to make, but takes quite a while to cook.
- 2 cups raisins
- 1 cup dried currants
- 1 cup glace cherries
- 1 1/2 cups chopped, pitted dates
- 1/2 cup mixed peel
- 1/2 cup mixed candied fruit
- 2/3 cup walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup rum, brandy or whisky
- 1 cup butter
- 1 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon each- vanilla, lemon, almond, rosewater
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 cup sour milk (add 1 tablespoon lemon to milk)
- 3 egg whites
I combine the fruit and nuts in a large bowl, and sprinkle the rum/brandy/whisky over it, stirring to combine. The I cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for a couple days, stirring it a couple times per day, and adding more alcohol if it is all absorbed.
Preheat oven to 300F. In a large bowl, beat the butter, then beat in the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the flavourings, and the egg yolks. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda and spices. Add these to the butter/sugar mixture, about a third at a time, alternating with the sour milk. Then fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Then fold in the fruit and nuts.
Line an 8″ springform pan (or 2 8x4x4 loaf pans) with either greased brown paper, cut to fit, or with parchment paper. If using parchment paper, you can scrunch it and dampen it, then press it into the pan. Fill the paper lined pan with the mixture, spreading it evenly. You can stud the top with nuts or a combination of nuts and cherries. Bake for 3-4 hours. If it is browning too fast after an hour and a half, cover the top with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Test for doneness and allow to cool for at least half an hour.
I wrap my cake up, and periodically drip more rum/brandy or whisky over the underside to allow it to soak up more flavour over the coming weeks.
Do you like fruitcake? Do you make one?