Old-Fashioned Brandied Fruitcake
I didn't think I liked fruitcake until I started making my own. Start this fruitcake about a month before you want to enjoy it. This recipe makes two 9-inch loaf cakes, so you'll have one for yourself and one to give. OR do as we have done in our photo, above, and use a 10-inch springform pan to make one great big lovely fruitcake.
In this instance, I used 1/2 cup less brandy than the recipe calls for. After it was baked and cooled, I wrapped it well in two large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil. A week later, I unwrapped it and sprinkled 1/4 cup of brandy on the top, turned the fruitcake over and sprinkled the other side with 1/4 cup brandy. I repeated that task for the next two weeks, and a week after the last brandy spike, I could wait no longer. It was ready -- moist, fragrant, delicious.
- In a large bowl, combine the candied fruit, pecans, raisins and 1/2 cup brandy. Toss to mix thoroughly, cover, and let stand for 3 to 5 hours at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Using 1 tablespoon butter for each, butter two 9-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of the breadcrumbs, and rotate to coat evenly.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, allspice and cinnamon. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream 1 cup butter with the brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture alternately with the coffee, stirring after each addition, until batter is just blended.
- Pour batter over the fruit mixture and blend thoroughly. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 1-1/2 hours (or 1 hour 45 minutes for a single round fruitcake) or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 20 minutes, and then turn out onto racks, and cool completely. Place each cake on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle each cake with 1/4 cup brandy. (See Note, below) Wrap each cake tightly in the aluminum foil, sealing well. Store in a cool dark place.
- After seven days, unwrap the cakes and sprinkle each with an additional 1/4 cup brandy. Rewrap. Repeat this procedure each week for the next two weeks. Then let the cakes mellow for a final week before serving.
- Makes two 9x5-inch fruitcakes (or one 10-inch round 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 small holes in the surface of the cake.
Prep time: 4 Hours; Cooking time: 90 Min; Total time: 5 Hrs
Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell