Real Fruit Cake

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Real Fruit Cake, all dried fruit, nothing processed.
Real Fruit Cake

I love fruit cake, all kinds.
It is dense, richly flavored and always a treat.
This is an old fashioned fruit cake; with dried fruits, rather than the artificially colored "fruit cake mix" found in the produce section this time of year.
I took a quick search on Google and I found this recipe by Alton Brown. I took a moment to read the reviews for this cake, and that was all it took.
He calls it Free Range Fruitcake, and invites the cook to have a good time, so that is what I did.
This looks like a lot of work, but it is easy to break down into steps if time is short. It goes together very quickly.

Real Fruit Cake, all dried fruit, nothing processed.
The fruit got to hang out with the rum all night.This smelled so good, every time I stirred it!

Free Range Fruitcake
adapted from Alton Brown

1 c diced apricots
1 c diced dates
1 c currents
1 c dried cranberries
1/4 c chopped candied ginger
1 c golden rum

Stir together and let rest overnight covered or heat on stovetop or microwave to hydrate. Set aside to cool if using the heat method.

Real Fruit Cake, all dried fruit, nothing processed.

The next day or when cool, combine in a large non-reactive pan:
the fruit and rum combination
1 T lemon juice
zest of 2 oranges
1 c coffee
1 c sugar
1 1/4 sticks of butter
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp gr allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp gr nutmeg

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 - 10 minutes. Most of the liquid will be evaporated. Set aside to cool. You may stop and place in the refrigerator if desired, simply bring to room temperature to proceed. To make the batter:

1 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well to mix together. 

2 eggs

1 c pecan halves, that have been toasted and broken into pieces

additional rum or brandy for spritzing

Add the flour mixture to the fruits and spices in the pan, stir quickly to incorporate flour mixture into the fruit. Make a well in the mixture, add the eggs. Beat with a wooden spoon to mix well. There should be no streaks of egg or dry flour.  Stir in the broken pecans.

Scrape batter into the prepared bundt pan, bake 325 degrees for 50 minutes. If not completely cooked when tested, return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let cool, 20 minutes then carefully turn the cake out. Let cool, spritz with rum and/or brandy. Check cake every 3 days, if dry, spritz with more brandy. The cake should "rest" 2 weeks before serving.

Real Fruit Cake, all dried fruit, nothing processed.

This smells so good, I think it is going to be a long 2 weeks! Even my own sweet honey came to tell me how good the kitchen smells with this fruitcake in the oven. I love the holidays.....


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  1. What a great idea, using actual fruit rather than candy to make fruitcake. I think that is what most people object to, don't you?


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