Real Fruit Cake
|Real Fruit Cake|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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