Last year about this time I was desperately packing to be ready to move at the end of the month so I did not have time to make my usual Christmas fruit cake.
I posted this recipe two years ago under the same heading "Time to Make the Fruitcake"
Yea I know all the jokes about fruitcake. Just try it.
This year's is especially good because I could not find any candied lemon and orange peel so I made my own - with this really easy recipe from the Food Network
These were so good they did not all make it into the fruitcake. Some fell into some dark chocolate. I may never buy these again.
Do not skimp on these ingredients. Yes it is rich and unhealthy. So what? You make it once a year, you give all away except one loaf (unless you are having a party). Enjoy.
1 C chopped dates
1 c golden raisins
1 c. candied pineapple, thinly sliced
2 c. red candied cherries, diced
1 c. green candied cherries, diced.
1 c. candied lemon peel
1 c. candied orange peel
1 c peach preserves
about 1 c Apricot Brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c pecans, coarsely chopped
1 c butter
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 pinch cloves
1 c. dark brown sugar
The night before you bake, combine raisins, dates, cherries, pineapple, preserves with 1/2 C. brandy and vanilla in bowl. Cover. Let stand at room temperature overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 300. Grease and flour four 9 x 5 loaf pans. Actually nowadays I spray the pan and then dust them with sugar rather than flour, works the same to keep from sticking but it make them EVEN sweeter. And it's all about the sugar with fruitcake.
Add nuts to fruit mixture. Set aside. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat eggs separately and add to butter and sugar. Add spices. Add flour. Pour batter into fruit mixture and stir to get all of the fruit covered. The batter is just there to keep the fruit together.
Pour into loaf pans. Pat down with fingers. Decorate with half candied cherries and whole pecans. Sprinkle with red or green sugar if you like.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for two hours. Remove foil and bake 30-40 minutes or until cakes are browned. Cool completely in pans on wire racks.
When cakes are cool, pour 1/4 brandy over each. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or wrap in cheese cloth and store for at lease two but no more than 6 weeks before eating.
Note --if this is too much booze, you can pour orange juice over the cakes and it will be good too. But not nearly as much fun.