Free Range Fruitcake

10 slices
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup sun dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sun dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sun dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely
  • Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup gold rum
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 ounces unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1 cup unfiltered apple juice
  • 4 whole cloves, ground
  • 6 allspice berries, ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecans, broken
  • Brandy for basting and/or spritzing

Combine dried fruits, candied ginger and both zests. Add rum and macerate overnight, or microwave for 5 minutes to re-hydrate fruit.

Place fruit and liquid in a non-reactive pot with the sugar, butter, apple juice and spices. Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture. Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integrated, then fold in nuts. Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and 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 cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet. Baste or spritz top with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.

When cake is completely cooled, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container. Every 2 to 3 days, feel the cake and if dry, spritz with brandy. The cake's flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks. If you decide to give the cake as a gift, be sure to tell the recipient that they are very lucky indeed.

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4.9 240
This is the 4th year I've made this fruitcake! Best cake for the season. I get asked for this as a gift. Highly recommend !!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Perhaps some cooks are using candied fruit, not dried. There is a big difference. Hydrated candied fruit will turn to mush. Dried fruit will not. Just a thought. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I always loved my grandmother's White Fruitcake. It has coconut in it which makes for a moist, divine texture. Then I tried this fruitcake....Sorry Gram, but this fruitcake is now the family favorite! It's expensive to make, but worth every cent. This year I'm making 6 of them. Two for me and 4 as gifts. I know those folks will love it as much as I do! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My first attempt at fruitcake and this is a winner! The recipe is is easy to double (making almost 9 pounds) and it has been a huge hit even with people who claimed not to like fruitcake. This is now at the top of my annual Christmas baking list. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've been making this for 4 years now. I vary the fruit a lot but usually it's half cranberries & raisins (dark & gold) and one-half "other". Dried apricot always makes it in and dried tart cherries are excellent. I use a dried-berry mix I get mail-order regularly, too. Figs disintegrate but taste good. I've switched to using mixed-glazed peel instead of fresh but I get it from a quality source. I recommend "" as a source for bulk candied ginger, dried fruit, and the glazed peel. I macerate in spiced rum and I've basted in a variety of liquors. Brandy, Rum, Bourbon all work just fine. Use what floats your boat. I use toasted almond slices instead of pecans 'cause I like almonds. So there. I'm up to 6 batches a year, which is 9 lbs of dried fruit, baked in 3x5.5 mini-loaf pans. It's difficult to make more than 2 batches at a time, in my opinion. Total yield is 24 cakes and I gift them out to a lot of converted fruitcake rejecters. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yummmmmy ! I loved this recipe. Extremely flavourful thanks Alton ! Made some variations used dark brown sugar, orange juice instead of apple juice, added lemon juice too. Used port wine with fig flavour. I have a question as to how do I store this cake. Refrigerating will reduce the flavour. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Question: I put the cake in the fridge overnight before reading somewhere that it should be left out. Can I just take it out of the fridge and leave it out at this point, without consequence? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Outstanding flavor, but mine keep falling in the middle! I'm baking it for an hour. The toothpick was clean-no batter-but still a little moist. Is that why? item not reviewed by moderator and published
what can i substitute the rum and brandy with? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This will be the 4th year I make fruitcake based off of this recipe. I've started using apple cider in place of apple juice, spiced rum instead of gold rum, and brown sugar instead of white sugar. I've found it helps the flavor get a lot more "holiday-style". I normally make the fruit one day and let it sit in the fridge for a day or two afterwards. This is the one gift that my dad requests every single year - he loves fruitcake but this is the only one that the rest of my family will eat as well - it ends up as more of a rum cake than a stereotypical fruit cake. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We agree this is the best one i know of. item not reviewed by moderator and published
thank you for posting that you used orange juice. I just started my fruits & was thinking to use OJ this time instead....You do not have to refrigerate this. This is my forth year making and I always keep it on the counter. The liquor acts as a preservative for weeks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Don't use a toothpick for testing. Use a paring knife. There is not enough surface area of a toothpick for an accurate reading. Hope that helps. You could also use a probe thermometer and bake until it reaches 210 degrees F. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do you not drink alcohol? In that case, I would just leave out the rum and brandy and rehydrate the fruit in the same amount of water. Wrap it tightly after you've baked it, and don't bake it too far out. If you do drink and want to substitute, I wouldn't. You could use all brandy or all rum, but vodka or gin? No. item not reviewed by moderator and published
No, i donot drink alcohol. i was actually thinking of using apple or pineapple juice instead. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The alcohol evaporates when you cook it. The rum or brandy adds a very nice flavor. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The alcohol works as a preservative, so please don't leave it out on the counter, Anjum. Store it in the 'fridge. Orange or pineapple juice would work - nice flavor options! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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