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Category: Desserts

New Age Fruitcake

I am going to spare you the usual fruitcake jokes (bricks, door stoppers . . . you've heard them all) and cut to higher ground. Fruitcakes are deserving of some respect in the culinary collective, if only because they are ... Read more

Total time: 3 hours plus 1 hour standing | Serves 24
Note: Lemon and orange oils can be found at gourmet markets.
  • 4 cups dried apricots, soaked in warm water 5 minutes (half quartered, half left whole)
  • 2 cups golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup crushed canned pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup candied orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil or extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange oil or extract
  • 3/4 cup hot brandy
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 1 tart apple, grated
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 3/4 cup broken walnuts
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Brandy, orange liqueur, half-and-half or apple juice, for soaking

Step 1An hour or up to 2 days before baking, place apricots, golden and dark raisins, pineapple, candied orange peel, lemon and orange zest and lemon and orange oils in a large bowl and toss with hot brandy and orange liqueur. Cover and set aside.

Step 2Just before making cake batter, stir apple, pecans and walnuts into fruit mixture.

Step 3Cream butter with sugar, then blend in eggs and vanilla. Fold in baking powder, salt, flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and allspice, then fruit and nut mixture to make a thick but well-blended batter.

Step 4Line 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon batter into pans. Set pans on a baking sheet (this protects bottom of cakes from baking more than tops) and bake at 325 degrees until golden brown, cakes spring back with lightly touched and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 2 1/2 hours. Cover tops with foil if tops are baking faster than interior and reduce heat to 300 degrees.

Step 5Let cakes rest in pan 15 minutes before removing to a cake rack to cool completely. Slice or saok (see box).

Each serving:
500 calories; 196 mg sodium; 62 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 78 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 2.50 grams fiber.
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