It’s that time of the year again…
“Isn’t that a fruitcake?” asked Husband. “No, people don’t like fruitcake. These are going to be Christmas Cakes. BIG difference. One is edible, one is not.” I tell him. “Oh, so it’s a different recipe?” he asks. “No, same recipe. Different outcome.”
You all know what I mean don’t you? You can call something one thing and it not be good at all. Rename it and there you go! Success!
Anyway, I do know a few people who LOVE fruitcake. Good fruitcake. Not bought fruitcake. Me being one of those people. OH! Excuse me, I meant Christmas Cake. I LOVE Christmas Cake.Please do not assume you don’t like Christmas Cake (or fruitcake, if you insist on calling them this!) because you don’t like the store bought variety. They are NOT one in the same. Bought Christmas cakes contain that awful candied cherry and citron mixture that not only is not tasty but hard as rocks sometimes. This recipe I am about to give you is easy as can be.
This recipe makes four 6″ cakes.
- 12 cups of dried fruit – I used apricots, dates, blueberries, cranberries, dark and golden raisins.
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup brandy or Cognac
Chop the large fruits into 1/4 inch pieces. Put all the fruit in a non-reactive container (plastic or glass) and pour the honey and brandy over it, stirring to coat well. Cover and let sit for a day or up to two weeks, mixing occasionally.
When ready to assemble the cakes, heat your oven to 275°F. Pour your fruit into a colander set over a bowl and let it drain while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Generously butter and flour your pans. As I said I used four 6″ rounds. But I think two 8’s would work as well. I also like to put a round of brown paper in the bottom of my pans over the butter/flour.
- Prepared fruit mixture
- 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1TBSP coarse salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups nuts – coarsely chopped (I used walnuts and pecans)
- 1 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup light brown, 1/2 cup white and 1/4 cup dark brown)
- 7 large eggs
Stir together the dry ingredients and then add the nuts and stir again. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer with your paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Transfer to a large bowl and using the folding method, add the flour/nut mixture and then the fruit mixture. Stir to evenly distribute the fruits.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans. These pans will be full – note you didnt use any leavening so they are going to be dense (read: YUMMY) cakes.
Cut parchment to fit around the pans and above the rim at least 2 1/2 inches. Tie with baker’s twine.
Place on pans on cookie sheet and bake for 2 hours to 2 1/4 hours. Or until cake tester comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire rack to cool completely. Turn out cakes, then flip back over so top is up.
Heat 1/4 cup apricot jam, 1/4 cup brandy and 1/4 cup water until jam is liquid. Brush on tops of cooled cakes. Wrap in parchment and store in refrigerator for up to six months.
If you live in a cold climate, and you have a cool spot in your house, they can be kept in a tin or plastic container and unrefrigerated. But since many times we have the air conditioning on in December as much as July, we keep ours refrigerated.
As always look over this recipe and read completely before starting. If you have any questions or something doesn’t look right let me know. I read and reread my recipes but still miss some things.
Have a great day. I have other recipes I am working on so stay tuned!
Mine this year will be gluten free. I will let you know how they turn out. This gluten free thing is a lot of work :/
There are some GREAT things coming up next week. I might be scarce for a few days but things are already lined up so do stay tuned. You won’t won’t to miss next Tuesday’s Tree-hugging post for sure! WOW…you’re going to love it!