My mom, Dorothy, makes this fruitcake about 2 months before Christmas, as it improves with age. For fruitcake lovers, this holiday cake is rich, full of fruit and nuts, and fabulous.
Rich Walnut Fruitcake
Small amount of vegetable shortening for preparing pans
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons rum or bourbon
2 cups pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 pound mixed candied fruit
2½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
½ cup honey
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 large eggs
Tip: See Toasting Nuts and Seeds. Use a citrus juicer for freshly squeezed juice. Use standard measuring cups and spoons or scales for accurate measuring.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Prepare two 9x5x2¾ inch loaf pans; grease pans , and then line with 2 layers of brown paper and then 1 layer of parchment paper or wax paper, greasing between each layer, and greasing the top parchment paper layer.
- Rinse raisins in cold water. Place raisins and rum in a covered dish and bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven to 250 degrees F.
- Chop the dates; sprinkle the coarsely chopped dates with 1 tablespoon flour to keep the dates from sticking together. Set aside. Tip: Since the dates get very sticky when chopping, sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of flour before chopping to help cut down on the stickiness.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine raisins, dates, nuts, and candied fruit. Sift one cup flour over the fruit and nuts; mix well. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1½ cups flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, shortening, honey, orange juice, and lemon juice; beat until mixed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
- Pour batter over floured fruit and nut mixture; stir well.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Place a small pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Place fruitcakes on middle rack and bake 3 to 3½ hours or until no imprint remains when cake top is touched. Remove from oven and cool completely in pans on a wire cooling rack. When cool, remove from pans, remove paper and discard.
Storing and Aging:
- Fruitcake can be eaten immediately; however it is best when allowed to age a least 1 to 2 months or longer. Wrap the cakes in rum, bourbon, or brandy soaked cheesecloth, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil, then place in a sealed plastic freezer bag. Store in a dark cool place. You may want to occasionally sprinkle the cakes with additional rum, bourbon, or brandy, then re-wrap and return to the dark cool storage place. Fruitcake stored they way will keep several months.
Tip: Serve cake using a pretty cake plate and cake server for a delightful presentation.
Makes 2 loaves
Description: Aged Fruit and Nut Cake
Pan: Two 9x5x2¾ inch loaf pans
Pan Prep: Greased, lined with brown paper and parchment paper, greased between each layer
Oven Temp: 250o
Prep Time: 4 Hours
Baking Time: 3 to 3½ hours
Yield: 2 Cakes
Storage: Bourbon soaked cheesecloth, tightly wrapped, cool dark place for several months
Recipe Type: Cake, Candied Fruit, Raisins, Dates, Walnuts, Dairy Free, Christmas
Help: Cake Hints, Toasting Nuts and Seeds
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