Dried Fruit Fruitcake

My mother found the basis for this recipe in Family Circle or Good Housekeeping magazine around 1970 and made it several times. Before eating this, I thought fruitcake was awful, but this is a real delight.
2 loaves or 1 large round cake

Combine

  • 2 cups dried apples, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces dried apricots, chopped
  • 8 ounces pitted whole dates, snipped into small pieces
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup calvados (or apple juice)

(Note that this totals to about 8 cups of fruit but the volume will vary depending on how it is packed and how large the pieces are cut.)  Let mixture stand 1 hour.

Meanwhile, stir together and set aside

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

Preheat over to 300º F. Make batter by creaming

  • 1 cup butter

Blend in

  • 1 cup sugar

One at a time, beating after each, add

  • 6 eggs

Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with a total of

  • 16 ounces applesauce

Stir in fruit after incorporating flour. Grease and flour pans: I use 2 9- by 5-inch loaf pans, but you may choose to make one large cake in a 10-inch tube pan.  The tube pan takes 2 hours to cook and the loaf pans take about 1 hour 45 minutes.

Cool cake(s) and remove from pan(s). Soak cheesecloth in

  • brandy as needed

wrapping cake(s) in cheesecloth, then in a plastic bag. Store the cake at room temperature, but avoid hot places. Check back on the cake every 2 weeks and if the cheesecloth has dried, be sure to re-soak the cloth and re-wrap the cake. The cakes will need about 6-8 weeks of aging before they are ready to eat.

ATTN The brandy you choose will change the flavor of the cake. A fruit-flavored brandy, such as Calvados or Grappa would probably be great. I’ve used Metaxa and been quite happy, but I’ve also had great results with cheap blackberry-flavored brandy, which is what my mother always used.

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