My goal with sharing this recipe (that my mother-in-law so graciously gave me the go-ahead to share with you - thanks, Ann!) is to unwrap the bad rap fruitcake has. This fruitcake has been passed down for generations in her family. It is loaded with rum (or brandy) soaked fruit, nuts, and peel. It is stunningly fragrant and festive. The goal with this cake is to make it ahead! Start soaking your fruits at the beginning of December (or sooner), and try to have the cakes baked by the second week. They then sit in rum soaked cheesecloth until Christmas day, or even later. The longer they sit, the more deep the flavours get. It's a beautiful tradition that requires patience, and willpower, because I promise, you will want to eat this all on day one. I usually make a couple of batches, and enjoy one right away. It helps with the whole patience and willpower thing (haha).
One to seven days before baking:
1. Mix all fruits and nuts with orange juice, lemon juice and liquor in a bowl and let sit overnight or longer, stirring frequently. The longer the better for flavour enhancement.
To make cake:
1. Preheat oven to 250-275 depending on oven but most likely 275
2. Place dish of water in oven
3. Line loaf pans with 2 layers of parchment paper. Grease well with shortening or cooking spray
4. Fill pans 2/3 full and even out mixture with a fork2. Measure and sift flour and all dry ingredients
5. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy
6. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
7. Take half flour mixture and coat fruit/nut mixture
8. Add butter and egg mixture to fruit/nut and mix well
9. Add the remaining flour mixture
10. Bake for 1hr and 55 mins for small loaf pans
11. Bake for 2 hours and 30 mins for a medium square pan.
12. Use a toothpick to determine doneness
13. Wrap them in rum soaked cheesecloth, then in wax paper and saran wrap tightly. Place in an airtight container and store in fridge.
*These can stay in the fridge for a LONG time if wrapped and stored properly. Before my mother-in-law knew I was obsessed with them, she had a couple in her fridge from December until June!*