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This recipe came from a cookbook (unknown) back in December 1964. This was the first cake I baked after getting married, and DH has been requesting it ever since. I've modified it slightly over the last 30+ years, and every year, I give these during the Holidays to Fruitcake-Loving friends. Everyone says it's the best fruitcake they have ever eaten! Make these at least 3 weeks before you plan to eat them (or give as gifts), as they need time to "season".
- 2 cups chopped pecans (12 ounces)
- 1 1⁄2 cups golden raisins (8 ounces)
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour (used to dust fruit)
- 2 lbs chopped mixed candied fruit (fruitcake mix kind)
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (6.37 ounces)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened (8 ounces)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
- 5 large eggs
- 1⁄2 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 3⁄4-1 cup Bourbon (first seasoning step)
- 1 cup Bourbon (2-3 week seasoning steps)
- candied cherry, cut in half (optional)
- pecan halves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Spray two 8x4x2-1/2-inch loaf pans (I use Wilton dark pans) with Baker's Joy, or grease and flour pans, removing any excess flour by turning pan upside down and tapping them firmly on the sides.
- Put raisins in a small bowl, and cover them with hot water to let them plump up.
- In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Set aside.
- In small bowl, add all eggs and beat just enough to mix them.
- Add the lemon juice and orange juice.
- Set aside.
- Drain raisins.
- In large bowl, add candied fruit, chopped pecans, and raisins.
- Sprinkle with 1/2 cup flour and mix to separate fruit pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, add butter and cream until soft.
- Add sugar and cream until fluffy and sugar has dissolved.
- Add 1/3 of the egg mixture, beating after each addition.
- Alternately add 1/4 of the flour mixture, beating on Medium-Low speed only until batter is smooth after each addition.
- ****Repeat the previous 2 steps until all egg mixture and flour mixture are incorporated into the batter.
- Pour the batter over the fruit-nut mixture and gently fold in the batter until the fruit is evenly distributed in the batter.
- Place the two loaf pans on a large cookie sheet so it will be easier to turn the loaves, and make removal from the oven easier when they are hot.
- Fill each loaf pan with half of the batter, which should come about 1-inch from the top of the loaf pan.
- If desired, decorate with cherry and pecan halves.
- Place loaf pans in preheated oven, and bake 2 hours.
- Turn cookie sheet once from front to back if cakes seem to be browning more in the back of the oven.
- Remove cakes from oven and pour 2-3 tablespoons bourbon over each cake.
- Cool about 30 minutes.
- Remove cakes from pans and place on a clean dish towel or rack to cool completely.
- TO SEASON AND STORE: Cut muslin or cheesecloth into large 18"x24" rectangles.
- Put cloth in bowl and add about 1/2 cup bourbon (enough to moisten the cloths).
- Remove cloths from bowl, lightly wring them out, and place on counter.
- Place a cake in the center of each cloth; fold cloth to completely enclose cake.
- Place cake in a resealable plastic bag, adding remaining bourbon left in bowl over top and bottom of each cake.
- Seal and store in a cool, dark place.
- No need to refrigerate, as the bourbon acts as a preservative.
- After several days, pour about 2 tablespoons of bourbon over the cloth-encased cake.
- Reseal plastic bag.
- Repeat this seasoning 2-3 times during the seasoning process, which should take about 2-3 weeks.
- You want to moisten cake, not drown it each time you season.
- At this point cakes can be given as gifts, eaten immediately, or frozen or refrigerated if you plan to keep them several months.
- NOTE: I have successfully kept these fruitcakes refrigarated for over 6 months, and they are still delicious.
- CUSTOM MIX: You can substitute any kind of candied fruit you like for the mixed fruit, or mix and match your preference of flavors: pineapple, cherries, citron, orange peel, lemon peel, chopped dated, craisins, etc.
- Chopped almond slivers or walnuts may be substituted for the chopped pecans.
- NOTE ON STORAGE: If you prefer to season your cake with orange juice rather than bourbon, it will be good, but not nearly as good, AND it must be REFRIGERATED after several days.
- ****Because I like to make these fruitcakes before the stores here stock the Candied Mixed Fruit, I buy it on 1/2 price sale after the Holidays and freeze it to use the following October.
- That way it is available when the urge to make fruitcakes hits me.