Tom Lester's Fruitcake

Recipe by texannie
READY IN: 723hrs
SERVES: 20-30
YIELD: 10 loaves




  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  • Chop cherries, pineapple, citron peel, orange peel, figs, dates, raisins, currants, pecans and walnuts as desired.
  • Place fruit and nuts in a large pan, such as a turkey roaster; set aside.
  • Coat 8 foil loaf pans with vegetable oil spray or butter, then line each pan with well-buttered foil or parchment.
  • You will need a heavy-duty mixer. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl; set aside. Cream butter in large bowl of electric mixer. Meanwhile, add just enough flour to fruits and nuts to lightly coat each piece.
  • To creamed butter, add eggs, sugar, molasses with soda, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, remaining flour and 2/3 cup brandy. Let the mixer go to work on that.
  • Scoop a depression in the fruit-nut pile and pour batter over it. Mix and knead almost as you would bread.
  • Pack mixture into prepared pans.
  • Place pans in oven with a shallow pan of water below them.
  • Cakes should be done in 3 to 4 hours. After 1 1/2 hours, watch carefully: If edges begin to crisp before top cracks in numerous places, turn down heat and put fresh pan of cool water in oven. When little cracks come across top of cakes, cakes are done.
  • When cool, remove cakes from pans. When cold (or later that night), dab brandy liberally over outside. Wrap each cake separately in wax paper, then aluminum foil. Cover with newspaper. Allow cakes to age in a cool place at least 1 month. The alcohol will evaporate by then, leaving only the bouquet and flavor.