Prep 1 hr
Cook 3 hrs
This recipe comes from my dear mother-in-law, Mary, and is a holiday favourite of my husband. It's quite a production and requires patience, a huge mixing bowl (I use an oversized roaster), good upper body strength to stir up all the ingredients (I use my husband), and a few real fruitcake lovers to share in the rich, buttery results. I've estimated the number of servings, because I've never really counted. The cakes need to "age" so make them a few weeks before you want to eat them. For the truly indulgent, decorate by rolling a sheet of marzipan to fit the cake top and "glue" it in place with warm apricot or crabapple jelly.
- 1 1⁄2-2 lbs bleached sultana raisins
- 1 1⁄2 cups whole almonds
- 3⁄4 lb glace cherries (red and or green)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs butter
- 3 3⁄4 cups white sugar
- 6 cups flour
- 15 eggs, 8 whole and 7 separated
- 2 lemons, juice and zest of, grated
- Prepare pans: Two 8" x 3" loaf pans and two 9" x 5" loaf pans OR One 8" square cake tin and one 6" square cake tin. Cut heavy brown paper to fit pans. Generously butter inside of pans, then place paper inside pans, and generously butter the paper. This helps prevent the cakes from drying out during storage.
- Prepare fruit and nuts: Soak raisins in water, overnight if possible. Drain well.Roughly chop almonds.Cut glace cherries into quarters.
- Beat together butter and sugar.
- Add 8 whole eggs and 7 egg yolks to butter/sugar mixture. Mix well.
- Add fruit and nuts, lemon juice and rind, and flour, stirring well after each addition. Keep stirring until batter is well mixed.
- Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter.
- Put batter into prepared pans.
- Bake about 3 hours in 300 degree F. oven.
- Let cool ten minutes in pans. Leaving the paper on the cakes, remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on racks. Wrap tightly in saran and then foil. Store in refrigerator or in a cool, dry place for several weeks, or freeze for up to one year.