With 3/4 cup of the dark rum, pour over chopped fruit and nuts. Cover and let soak for at least 48 hours. The fruit should be stirred once a day or so.
Keep remaining rum for after baking directions -- see below.
Stir flour, salt, baking soda and spices together Set aside.
In separate bowl, Cream shortening and brown sugar together till fluffy.
Add eggs and beat one at a time.
Add molasses, jam and mix well.
Blend in dry ingredients. Fold in fruit.
Prepare your round fruit cake pan by oiling and line pan with paper. Oil and flour again lightly.
Ensure the top of the paper is about 1 inch or so above the top of the pan.
Fill prepared pans 2/3 full.
Bake in a slow oven 300°F for 2 hours or so.
Place a shallow pan of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven during baking. This will ensure the cake stays moist. Remove this pan of water during the last hour of baking.
Cool completely before removing paper.
Storing and mellowing of fruit Cake: Wrap a cheese cloth that has been soaked in the remaining 1/4 cup of rum over the cake, covering it completely.
Next wrap the cake and cheesecloth in aluminum foil wrap.
Place in a cool place. Taste of cake is best when stored for 4 weeks or so! I've often brushed egg white over the cake, rolled out almond paste and laid it over the top and sides of cake. I then ice it. Everyone raves! NOTE: I've often doubled the recipe for a larger cake.