Western Fruitcake

Start this fruitcake anywhere from one week to two months before you plan to enjoy it. An excellent choice for Christmas giving, this fruitcake relies on dried fruit rather than the candied fruits so many people find objectionable in fruitcake.

Ingredients:
  • Softened butter (for buttering the pan)
  • 1 8-ounce package pitted dates, cut into quarters
  • 2 cups quartered dried apricots
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup whole blanched almonds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup candied cherries
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Rum or brandy (optional)
Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan and line it with parchment or waxed paper. Then butter the paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dates, apricots, raisins, almonds, pecans and cherries.
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and baking powder, then stir in the beaten eggs and vanilla, combining well.
  4. Stir the flour/egg mixture into the fruit mixture, stirring thoroughly. A stout wooden spoon works well for this purpose.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pans, pressing batter into the corners of the pan.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 1-1/2 hours until golden brown. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out of pan. Peel off paper and let cake cool completely on rack.
  7. Wrap airtight with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator for at least one week before serving or giving. If desired, sprinkle top of cake with 1 tablespoon rum or brandy once a week for up to two months.
  8. Makes one fruitcake.

Note: Don't just dump the brandy over the cake. It takes a little patience, but let the brandy drip onto the cake so that it is absorbed. If you like, use a toothpick to make fine holes in the surface of the cake.

Prep time: 30 Min; Cooking time: 1 Hour 30 Min; Total time: 2 Hrs

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