Brandied Fruit Cakes (sharon)
Soft butter or margarine
Orange juice concentrate
Unsifted all purpose flour
Pitted dates, cut up
Blanched almonds, halved
**NOTE** I take the whole amount of fruit (10 cups) and make a nice
looking mixture. I don't necessarily use the amounts shown. If the
candied fruit is on sale, I just use more of it than the raisins. I
still end up with the 10 cups, but it is usually more of the fruit
mix and candied pineapple. The almonds I use are the slivered ones.
Easier to work with... The original recipe called for brandy or
grape juice, but I found that if you substitute the orange juice
concentrate, it has a nicer flavour.
Use 2 tube pans 10x4 each, or 5 loaf pans. Line pans with 2-3
thicknesses of brown paper or 1 thickness of heavy foil; grease well
with unsalted shortening. (I use lard to grease and don't need to
line with paper)
Wash raisins and currants and dry thoroughly between paper towels.
Beat butter and shorteningtogether very thoroughly; when smooth and
fluffy, add sugar gradually, beating continuously. Blend in vanilla
and almond extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each
addition. Beat in orange juice and honey. This may cause the batter
to appear separated, but it will not affect results. Sift together
remaining dry ingredients. Mix prepared fruits and almonds in large
mixing bowl; add sifted dry ingredients, and mix well to coat pieces.
Scrape egg and butter mixture into bowl, and, using hands, combine
very thoroughly. Fill each pan 3/4 full. Preheat oven to 275F. Bake
cakes 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours, depending on size of pans used. After
first hour or so, place pan of water on bottom of oven to prevent
cakes from drying out. When cakes test done, remove from oven, and
let pans stand on racks until cakes are completely cooled. Remove
from pans, and peel of paper linings. Let ripen 4-5 weeks before
serving. This recipe makes dark moist cake, rich with fruits and
mingled flavors of spices, honey, and the like. If desired, recipe
may be halved with good results.
When they come out of the oven, I let them sit for a few minutes and
then take them out of the pans while still fairly hot. Let them cool
for maybe 15-20 minutes and then pack them while still warm. I pour
1/4 to 1/2 cup brandy (apricot, orange, or cherry) onto the cakes,
wrap in double thickness of Handy wrap, then wrap in tin foil
securely. I then store them in the basement where it is cool and
every couple of days I turn them to make sure that the brandy
diffuses throughout the whole cake. I have NEVER had this recipe fail
me. I am asked for it by most of my family members as I send them for
presents at Christmas. I have tried other recipes, but this one has
the moistest results I have found. By pouring the brandy on AFTER it
is cooked, you get a cake that kicks!! (for our A.A. friends, I make
"dry" ones with no brandy and it still stays moist.)
Origin: Chatelaines' Adventures in Cooking, adaptations by me.
Shared by: Sharon Stevens.