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Prep1 hr 30 mins
This cake is versatile and you can substitute strawberry jam with marmalade or any other flavour of jam. You can use alcohol to flavour it or not. You can ice it or leave it plain. You can serve it as a Christmas fruit cake or use it to make a wedding cake. It does make enough cake to fill a set of three graduated wedding cake pans (7.5 in, 5.5 in, and a 4 in pan). Each cake is about 2 inches high and the total weight is about 11.5 lbs. If you cut it up for a wedding cake, it would probably serve anywhere from 100-150 people depending on how small you want the pieces to be.
- 1 3⁄4 cups slivered almonds
- 2 cups seeded raisins
- 2 cups seedless raisins
- 2 cups currants
- 2 1⁄2 cups chopped dates
- 2 cups citrus peels or 2 cups mixed glace fruit
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle maraschino cherries
- 1⁄2 cup brandy or 1⁄2 cup pineapple juice
- 1 (10 ounce) can crushed pineapple
- 2 cups sugar (additional sugar listed below)
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 lb butter
- 2 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 12 eggs
- Day 1: Measure nuts, raisins, currants, citron peel into a large bowl.
- Drain cherries and reserve juice.
- Chop cherries (they should measure about 1 1/4 cups) and add to the fruit mixture.
- Stir in brandy and soak over night.
- I actually do this a few weeks in advance and leave it in the fridge and really let the fruit soak in the brandy for more depth of flavour but it's up to you.
- If you're going to do it the day before baking however, I'd cover it with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter at room temperature.
- In a heavy dutch oven or large saucepan, simmer the entire contents of the can of pineapple with 2 cups of the sugar.
- Cook uncovered until thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Stir frequently and make sure the heat isn't too high.
- When cool, stir in the juice from jar of maraschino cherries (it shouldn't be more than 1/2 cup) and the strawberry jam.
- This mixture doesn't have to be done the day before baking but it does have to bee cool before you add it to the cake.
- In fact, I'd recommend that you do this step on the day of baking.
- Prepare cake pans by greasing and then lining with a double thickness of heavy brown paper.
- Brown shopping bags do well or else you can use tin foil with dull side out.
- Grease the paper or foil well.
- Use whatever size pans you wish but leave an inch space at the top of the pan.
- Total weight is 11.5 lbs.
- Preheat oven to 275°F.
- Sift or stir the flour with the spices, salt and soda until well mixed.
- Sprinkle a cup of the flour mixture over the fruits and nuts and toss till they are coated with flour.
- Set remaining 3 cups of flour aside.
- In a large measuring bowl, cream 2 1/4 cups of the sugar with butter.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Stir in dry ingredients, alternating with pineapple mixture.
- Make 3 dry and two liquid additions, combining lightly after each addition.
- Pour over flour-coated fruits and nuts and mix until well combined.
- Turn into prepared pans and they can be filled to about one inch from the top.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 3 - 3 1/2 to 5 hrs depending on pan size.
- Put a shallow pan of water on a lower rack for added moisture if you'd like.
- Cake should be fairly firm in the centre and a skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
- Remove from pan and peel off paper and then let it cool on a rack.
- When cool, wrap it in a piece of cheesecloth that has been soaked in brandy, rum, black wine, liqueur, or fruit juice.
- Then wrap the cake in tin foil (leaving the cheesecloth on the cake).
- Freeze if not being used right away.
- Note: I usually start soaking the fruits around the end of October for a couple of weeks in the fridge, then mid Nov, I bake the cake, and freeze it.
- Every couple of weeks, I take it out, re-soak the cheesecloth in liquor and wrap it back up and re-freeze.
- By the time Christmas rolls around, you will have one moist and intoxicating cake!
- (You can just use fruit juice if you don't want the alcohol. I think pineapple juice is the best).
- You can decorate with an almond paste or icing of your choice or serve plain.