We’ve all heard the jokes about … fruitcake. And until now, I completely agreed.
To be fair, I’d only taken a bite … once. And that was enough for me.
My husband, however, is one of those rare people who actually likes fruitcake.
And so in a moment of magnanimity, I decided to throw caution to the wind … and actually make a fruitcake. Being the traditionalist that I am, I was determined to not only make one (in keeping with generations gone before) but to find one that even I could like.
And I did.
With a few adaptations, I found that recipe. The best part is … there is no soaking the fruit for days on end or maturing in the refrigerator for weeks. It’s good to go the day you bake it.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
5 large eggs
1/2 cup apricot nectar
1/4 cup half and half
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 pound dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound golden raisins
1 pound coarsely chopped walnuts and pecans (I did a half pound of each)
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup apricot pineapple jam (or just apricot jam)
1/4 cup brandy
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour 6 (5″x3″x2″) aluminum loaf pans or 2 (9″x5″ loaf pans), mini bundt cake molds or 2 round cake pans.
In large bowl with mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Add apricot nectar and half and half. Mix in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Blend well. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in dried fruit and nuts.
Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cake tester or wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (If you are baking in smaller pans, start checking with toothpick after about 30 minutes). Remove to wire rack and cool in pans.
Sprinkle tops of cakes with brandy and let stand 1 hour. Remove cakes from pans.
Cakes can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, wrap in cheese cloth soaked with brandy and then in foil and refrigerate several months, resoaking cheesecloth once a month.
To serve, make glaze (above). Decorate the top of your cakes with dried apricots, walnuts and pecans and brush glaze onto top and sides of the cake.
Adapted from a recipe by Marlene Sorosky, “Cooking for Holidays and Celebrations.“