This holiday fruitcake is made of a rich pound-cake batter that is mixed with dried and candied fruits. The fruits greatly enhance the cake and make it a festive holiday-season dessert. The cake can also be cut into tiny pieces and served as petits fours. The homemade candied peels are easy to make, inexpensive, and of a better quality than you can get commercially. Dried and covered with cognac or rum, the peels and dried fruits will keep almost indefinitely in a jar in the refrigerator. They can be added to soufflés as well as to cakes or fruit salads. The cake is baked slowly for a long time, until completely set inside. When cool, it should be wrapped in plastic and stored in an airtight container. It can also be frozen. Courtesy of Jacques Pepin 2001.