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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