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Grandma’s Fruitcake

Grandma’s Fruitcake

I've heard all the stories about fruitcake. All the jokes. But I loved my grandma's fruitcake. The only thing is when I was a little girl I wasn't allowed to eat very much of it. You see, Grandma made her fruitcakes in July (yes, July). For the next few months, she would go down to her basement, where the fruited treasures were carefully wrapped in cheesecloth and placed in airtight containers, and spray them about twice a week with rum. Needless to say, the kids weren't allowed too many slices and the grown-ups were careful when they drove home. This recipe makes two angel food cake pan sized cakes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound each candied pineapple, cherries and light raisins
  • 1/4 pound each candied lemon rind, orange rind and citron
  • 3/4 cup rum, plus additional amount for brushing
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) butter (no substitutes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 pound chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups flour, sifted
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the fruit into pieces, halving the cherries.
  2. Put all of the fruit into a large glass bowl.
  3. Pour the rum over the fruit and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until mixture is fluffy.
  6. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  7. Add the fruit and nuts.
  8. Mix until well blended.
  9. Grease two angel food cake pans.
  10. Line bottoms with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.
  11. Spoon batter into pans, filling almost to the top.
  12. Place one oven rack at the lowest place in the oven; center the other.
  13. Place a 9x13 pan about 1/2 full of water on the bottom rack.
  14. Place other pans on middle rack.
  15. Bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours.
  16. Remove cakes from oven.
  17. While cakes are still warm, brush with rum.
  18. Cool cakes in the pan.
  19. When cool, prush with liquor again.
  20. Wrap cakes in cheesecloth and aluminum foil.
  21. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

If you have trouble finding candied citron, try an Italian grocery store.

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