OK, let's get this out of the way. With apologies to my Sainted mother, I grew up with "Southern Baptist" Fruitcake... NO BOOZE. While since my youth I have embraced my white bread roots and become active in my Episcopal Church, I still have nightmares of my Southern Baptist church basement ladies serving up that nasty hard, dry, weird "bread" looking cake with those odd neon green and red candies floating inside.
Yuck, it is hard to type this as I am shuddering even now from the memory.
Well, this cake ain't that one.
The fruit, all natural fruit that does not glow in the dark, has been soaked in Rum to re-hydrate. Over a cup of rum in each loaf!
The spice cake is incredibly moist and tender and filled with amazing flavors.
Now, second point to get out of the way, I make mine in two days, seal it up and do not do endless basting and resealing for weeks on end. I can serve mine on that second day (but it will keep for weeks) without any measurable difference. Still moist, still boozy and still amazingly delicious. I do admire the purest that start theirs in October and end up with something amazing. I am just not that guy (when it comes to Fruit Cake).
The trick is a vacuum sealing machine (FoodSaver brand in my house). Once you have the cake saturated, seal it up and forget it until you are ready to serve. No evaporation, no hardening and the booze stays... Boozy!
So, to my fellow fallen Southern Baptists, you don't know what your missing. This is a show stopping Dessert/Appetizer that will become the talk of any party. Those of you that grew up with Episcopal drinking values, this is a very very very close second to those cakes that your friends spent weeks and weeks basting and brushing.
This one will change your mind and make you a convert!
2 Day Fruit Cake
- 1 Cup Golden raisins
- 1 Cup Dried Apricots
- 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 Cup Dried Blueberries
- 1 Cup Dried Cherries
- 1 Cup Candied Ginger
- Zest of 2 Lemons
- 2 Cups (more as needed) Rum (I used a Cruzen brand Raspberry Infused Clear Rum (Hint: Coconut Rum would work Great!)
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 2 Sticks (1 Cup) Butter
- 1 Cup Apple Juice
- 2 TBS Powdered Cloves
- 1 TBS Allspice
- 1 TBS Cinnamon
- 1 TBS Ground Ginger
- 3 Cups Flour
- 1 TBS Salt
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Walnuts, broken
- Additional Rum for Basting
- Early morning, Day 1 - Fill a bowl with the fruit (Raisins, Apricots, Cranberries, Blueberries, Cherries and Candied Ginger). As needed, cut the dried fruit (mostly the Apricots and Ginger) into smaller pieces approximately the size of a large Raisin so that all pieces of fruit are equal size.
- Add the Rum filling to just cover all of the fruit. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring at each minute mark.
- Add the lemon zest, stir to mix and seal with plastic wrap. Let sit for 36 hours room temperature (SEALED is very important or the alcohol evaporates) to allow all of the fruit to re-hydrate with the Rum.
- Mid afternoon Day 2 - Transfer the fruit with the remaining rum (at least half will have been absorbed into the fruit) to a large pot. Turn heat to medium high and add the sugar, Butter and Apple Juice. Stirring constantly until the pot begins to simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, transfer to room temperature bowl and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare three standard size loaf pans with non-stick spray or, I prefer to line the bottom with cut parchment paper and then spray the sides.
- FOR THE SPICE CAKE BATTER - Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, Allspice, Cloves, Cinnamon and Ginger.
- Add the cooled fruit (with liquid) to the flour/spice mix and stir to combine. Add eggs one at a time and mix to combine. Finally, add the walnuts and do one final mix.
- Bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.
- Remove from the pans. Baste with additional Rum until the tops are saturated. Flip and baste the reverse side. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap (I have a FoodSaver Vacuum sealer machine that will suck the air from a bag. This works best to hold the rum in, prevent the alcohol from evaporating). If you are using plastic wrap, wrap tightly and double seal each loaf in a zippered ZipLock bag, squeezing as much air out as possible.
- Keep sealed until ready to serve (store in fridge for several weeks if needed). Serve room temperature and ENJOY!
These are the desserts you make for your family. No fancy amazing wedding cakes, just the rustic beauty of the classics. From pumpkin pie to cheesecakes to layer cakes, these are what your family craves for dessert. You may even see a few unusual crusts and frosting ideas to try.
You get the idea. These recipes are simple, delicious and will have your family wanting dessert first...
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