Old Time Dark Fruit Cake

Old Time Dark Fruit Cake

Tips for making fruit cake

1 ½ cups prunes

1 cup dried apricots

2 cups seedless raisins

1 ½ cups seeded raisins

1 ½ cups currants

1 ½ cups sliced, pitted dates

2 ½ cups diced, preserved citron

1 ½ cups diced, preserved pineapple

1 ½ cups halved candied cherries

1 cup diced, preserved orange peel

1 cup diced, preserved lemon peel

1 ½ cups blanched almonds

1 ¼ cups pecan halves

3 cups sifted, all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons allspice

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons nutmeg

1 teaspoon mace

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 cup soft shortening

1 ½ cups brown sugar

6 eggs, unbeaten

½ cup molasses

2/3 cup strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Grease two, 9-inch tube pans or three, 7 ½ -inch by 2 ½-inch loaf pans plus a 9-inch by 3-inch loaf pan. After greasing the pans, line with two thicknesses of greased brown paper and one thickness of greased waxed paper.

Rinse the prunes and apricots; cover with water and boil 5 minutes, drain; cool. Cut the prunes into pieces; slice the apricots. Rinse and drain the raisins and currants, then add to the prunes and apricots. Add the dates, citron, pineapple, cherries, orange peel and lemon peel. Sliver the almonds; chop 1 cup of the pecans coarsely and add both to the fruits. Sprinkle 1 cup of the flour over all; mix well. Sift the remaining 2 cups flour with the allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, ginger, cloves, baking soda and salt.

With the electric mixer at medium speed, thoroughly best the shortening with the sugar until very light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until very creamy, about 8 minutes in all. Then, at low speed, beat in alternately, in fourths, the flour mixture, molasses and jam just until smooth. Pour over the fruit and nut mixture; mix well with a spoon. Pack lightly into the prepared pans; top with ¼ cup of the pecan halves. Bake, with a small shallow pan of hot water on the lower shelf of the oven, about 3 to 3 ½ hours or until done. Cool completely in the pans on wire racks. Remove from the pans and peel off the paper. Brush Old Time Dark Fruit Cake with brandy or rum, as desired; wrap in cheesecloth and put in a tight container to ripen.

Source: Good Housekeeping’s Cake Book, Consolidated Book Publishers, 1958

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