Christmas Fruitcake




15 minutes active, up to 24 hours inactive to prepare

Servings: 2 loaves




Ingredients

For the fruit:

1 cup raisins
1 cup currants
1 cup dried mixed fruit of your choice (apricots, apples, prunes, cherries, pineapple, dates, etc.)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup brandy (or apple juice)

For the batter:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups all purpose flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup apple juice or water
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
Brandy or simple syrup, as needed, for brushing (optional)

Directions

  1. For the fruit:
  2. Chop all of the dried fruit to desired size and combine with the brandy (or apple juice), cover, and let sit overnight to macerate. If short on time, microwave for five minutes to hydrate fruit instead.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325°F and line one 10×10-inch pan or two 9×5-inch loaf pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium until well combined. Mix in the baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the flour, followed by the juice or water.
  6. Add in the fruit and any collected juices and the nuts, and mix until thoroughly combined.
  7. Scrape batter into prepared pan(s), filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Start checking for doneness at one hour. If not done, check after 10 more minutes, and another 10 if needed.
  8. Remove from oven and, if desired, brush with brandy or simple syrup. (You can also mix together the brandy and simple syrup for a lighter flavor.)
  9. Once cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 6-8 weeks. Storing the glazed cake for 2 weeks will enhance the cake’s flavor considerably.