Prep 1 hr
Cook 45 mins
tried and true fruitcake with dried fruit, not candied fruit.
For the Simple Syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 lemons, zest of (strips, about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 lemons, juice of (about 1/4 cup)
For the Cake
- 1 lb combination dried fruits (such as blueberries, cranberries, cherries, raisins, or apricots)
- 2 cups butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup molasses or 1 cup honey, depending on how dark you want it
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup Grand Marnier or 1 cup other orange-flavored liqueur
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon clove
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon, zest of
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 1⁄2 cup Bourbon
- Make the simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the lemon zest and juice and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Boil for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.
- Combine the dried fruits together in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the simple syrup over them, toss to coat, and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain and reserve the syrup.
- Cream the butter, sugar, and almond paste together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle at low speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Beat about 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
- Add ½ cup of the Grand Marnier and mix to incorporate.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon,nutmeg, ginger& cloves in a medium-size mixing bowl and blend well.
- Add this mixture 1/2 cup at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed, each time mixing until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- The batter will be thick.
- Add the warm fruit and all the nuts a little at a time, mixing well.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Lightly grease twelve 1-pound loaf pans or 6-2 pound pans or cans.
- Spoon about 1 cup of the batter into each 1 pound pan, 2 cups into the 2 pound pans or cans.
- Bake until golden and the tops spring back when touched, about 45 minutes for the 1 pound pans 60 or longer for the larger pans (rearranging them after 25 minutes if necessary to brown evenly).
- Test with toothpick for doneness.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pans.
- Remove cakes from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
- Wrap each cake in a layer of cheesecloth.
- Store in plastic storage bags until they are slightly stale, 3 to 4 days.
- Combine the reserved simple syrup with the remaining ½ cup Grand Marnier and the bourbon.
- Without removing the cheesecloth, make tiny holes with a toothpick randomly on the top of each cake.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of the syrup over the top of each cake once every 2 to 3 days until all of the syrup is used.
- Let the cakes age for up to 3 weeks before eating.
- Makes 12 (1-pound) or 6 (2-pound) cakes.