I have always loved fruitcake, even as a little kid, I loved it. And, I'm talking about fruitcake with citron, soaked in booze. Yeah, I was a weird kid. Anyway, I'm always amazed when people say they hate fruitcake; so, I set out to make a fruitcake that would appeal to everyone, and I think I've done it! My sister, who really doesn't like fruitcake, loved this version. Now, if I could have gotten the husband to eat it, I would probably nominate this recipe for World's Best Fruitcake, but as the cake contains figs, there was no way I could convince him.
If you have a fruitcake lover in the house, give this a try, and even if you don't, I encourage you to make it, at least just to place on your Christmas dessert table.
· 1 lb dried figs
· 2 cups golden raisins
· 2 cups dried cherries
· 1 cup glace pineapple
· 1 cup Southern Comfort or Rum
· 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
· 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
· 1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
· 1 ½ cup flour
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
· 1 cup light brown sugar
· 3 large eggs
· 3 tablespoons soaking liquid
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· Glace pineapple and cherries for decoration, optional
· 2 tablespoons apricot jam, melted (for a shiny glaze – optional)
1. 24 hours before you plan to bake the cake, combine figs, raisins, cherries, and pineapple in a large glass bowl – pour Southern Comfort or rum over fruit; cover with a lid and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. (I used an 8-cup measuring bowl with a lid.)
2. After soaking 24 hours, drain fruit, reserving 3-tablespoons of soaking liquid.
3. Place fruit into the bowl of a food processor and chop medium-fine. If the bowl of your food processor is not very big, do this in batches.
4. Set chopped fruit aside and begin batter.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and toast pecans, walnuts and almonds for about 8-10 minutes, remove from oven, cool to room temperature, chop and set aside.
6. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.
7. Grease 3 standard loaf pans with unsalted butter and line with parchment paper so that paper extends over long-side; set aside.
8. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt – whisk together and set aside.
9. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your Kitchen-Aid, beat butter and sugar until creamy.
10. Add eggs, one at a time.
11. Mix in soaking liquid, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.
12. Stir in flour mixture.
13. Add fruit and nuts.
14. Divide mixture between the 3 prepared pans.
15. Decorate with reserved pineapple and cherries, if desired.
16. Bake for 1 hour, test for doneness. Return to oven for additional time until tester is clean – watch closely.
17. Melt jam and brush over cakes if desired.
18. Wrap with parchment paper and store in a sealed plastic bag for about 1 week in refrigerator before slicing.