Free Range Fruit Cake
- 1/2 cup sun dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup sun dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup sun dried cherries
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely
- Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely
- 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
- 1 cup gold rum
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup currants
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 ounces unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
- 1 cup unfiltered apple juice
- 4 whole cloves, ground
- 6 allspice berries, ground
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecans, broken
- Brandy for basting and/or spritzing
- Combine dried fruits, candied ginger and both zests.
- Add rum and macerate overnight, or microwave for 5 minutes to re-hydrate fruit.
- In a non-reactive pot, combine the raisins, currants, dried fruit mixture, sugar, butter, apple juice and spices.
- Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)
- Heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place a pan of water in the lower rack of the oven to prevent cracking.
- Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture.
- Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integrated, then fold in nuts.
- Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
- Check for doneness with toothpick test, or an internal temperature of 195F. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.
- Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet. Baste or spritz top with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.
- When cake is completely cooled, spritz with brandy, then seal in a tight sealing, food safe container.
- Every 2 to 3 days, feel the cake and if dry, spritz with brandy. The cake's flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks.
- Pecans can be toasted by placing on a sheet pan for ~15 minutes at 300 degrees.
From Food Network