This festive fruitcake is perfect for Christmas giving.
- 1 cup diced candied orange peel
- 1 cup diced candied lemon peel
- 2 cups diced citron
- 1 cup currants
- 1 cups raisins, chopped
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup molasses
- Mix the fruit in a large bowl with the red wine and brandy. Stir to combine and set aside to marinate for 2 to 4 hours.
- Butter two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and line them with clean parchment paper. Butter the paper.
- Sift the flour with the spices twice. Add the baking powder and salt and sift again.
- Put the butter into a large mixing bowl and cream until smooth. Add sugar; using an electric mixer, cream until light and fluffy.
- Beat the egg yolks slightly and then add them to the bowl. Mix the batter well before you start to add the flour-spice mixture. Stir the batter as you add the flour, a little at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the flour is thoroughly incorporated, add the molasses and stir. Finally, stir in the fruit, along with any soaking liquid left in the bowl.
- Put the egg whites in a stainless steel or glass bowl and beat with a clean beater to stiff peaks. Fold them into the batter thoroughly and then spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Cover loosely with a clean cloth and let the batter sit overnight in a cool place to mellow.
- On the next day, heat the oven to 250°. Place the fruitcake on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. After 1 1/2 hours, cover the pan with a piece of brown paper (do not use foil) or set the pan in a paper bag and return it to the oven.
- When the cake has baked for 3 1/2 hours, test the with a toothpick or cake tester. If the tester comes out of the center of the cake clean, the cake is done.
- Leave the cake in the pan and set on wire rack to cool.
- When the cakes are completely cooled, turn out of the pans, leaving the brown-paper lining on the cake. Wrap the cake with parchment, then foil, and pack the cake in a tin. Homemade fruitcakes need air, so punch a few holes in the lid of the tin or set the cover loosely on the tin.
- Set the tin in a cool, undisturbed place, and every two weeks before Christmas, open the foil and sprinkle the cake with a small glassful of brandy, wine, or bourbon. The liquor will keep the cake most and flavorful and help preserve it as well.
***Grabbed from: http://southernfood.about.com/od/fruitcakerecipes/r/bl1130b.htm