Prep 1 hr
Cook 10 hrs
I based this on a combination of Mike's Fabulous Fruitcake (Mike's Fabulous Fruitcake) and Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcake (Free Range Fruitcake). This is truly a great cake. The only candied fruit my family can stomach is some good quality cherries so that's all the candied stuff in here, the rest is all dried. I suppose you could eat it after a day or two if you don't want to baste it with alcohol but then you miss the point of a good fruitcake. Even people who don't like fruitcake like this because it's got no candied fruit besides the cherries.
- 1 lb raisins
- 1 lb dried apricot
- 1 lb dried cranberries
- 1⁄2 lb dried cherries
- 1⁄2 lb dried blueberries
- 1⁄2 lb dried dates
- 1⁄2 lb dried fig
- 1⁄2 lb candied cherry
- 1⁄4 lb crystallized ginger
- 1⁄2 lb walnuts
- 1⁄2 lb pecans
- 1⁄2 lb almonds
- 4 oranges, zest of
- 5 lemons, zest of
- 1 1⁄2 cups apple juice or 1 1⁄2 cups apple cider
- 1 1⁄2 cups rum
- 1 1⁄2 cups triple sec or 1 1⁄2 cups other orange-flavored liqueur
- 1 lb butter
- 1 lb brown sugar
- 1 lb flour
- 2 tablespoons lyle's golden syrup or 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
- 8 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups rum (for basting) (optional)
- 2 cups triple sec (for basting) (optional) or 2 cups other orange-flavored liqueur (for basting)
- Toast the nuts, either on the stove top in a large skillet over medium-high heat or in the oven at 350F for about 8 minutes. Cool the nuts.
- Coarsely chop all the dried fruits, crystallized ginger and nuts. Place them all in a large mixing bowl. Add the orange and lemon zest and mix well. Pour the apple juice, rum and triple sec over the fruit. Mix well. Cover and let sit for 8 hours or more, stirring the mixture once or twice during that time. There should be very little liquid left at the bottom of the bowl after soaking.
- Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven with another rack right under it. Preheat oven to 275°F Grease 8 small loaf pans or 4 large loaf pans. Cover the bottoms and sides with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs just a bit. Lightly grease the parchment.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. And golden syrup, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the flour, spices, vanilla and salt.
- Mix the fruit once more to ensure there is not a puddle of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the batter over the fruit mixture and mix until well combined. Fill each prepared pan with batter no more than 2/3 full.
- Take a clean 13x9 pan and fill it with very hot water. Place in the bottom rack of the oven. Put cake pans with batter on the middle rack. Bake at 275F for 40 minutes. Switch pans around and from front to back. This ensures even baking. Bake for another 35 to 45 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake. Take the cakes out of the oven and place on wire racks.
- If using, place the rum and triple sec to be used for baking in a clean spray bottle. While the cakes are still warm, spray each with the mixture until the top of the cakes look a bit moist. When the cakes have cooled, cover each in aluminum foil. Each day for one week spritz the cakes with the liquor mixture until they are wet on top. You can also use a pastry brush dipped in the liquor mixture to brush the cakes if you prefer. Spritz the cakes every other day for another week. Keep spritzing until the liquor is used up. Let the cakes rest covered in aluminum foil in a cool dry place for a few days or up to one week. The cakes should cure for at least 2 weeks, but preferably 3 to 4 weeks. Cut into slices and enjoy.
- This cake is great toasted with some cream cheese or mascarpone cheese on top.