Tuesday, 5 April 2011
The best fruit cake in the world?
When I was expecting my first child, I went completely off fruit cake and didn't eat it again for 28 years.
This Christmas, probably because I was inspired by a TV programme, I thought I'd make one. I tentatively tried a little bit and loved its moist squishyness. It's very easy to make and you can make it at the last minute as it can be eaten a couple of days after baking, but probably improves with keeping a bit! Why keep such delights for Christmas?
So, I consider myself cured of the pregnancy food fad of hating fruit cake, and having just finished making another one, I'm sharing the love, and a good recipe.
Fruit cake - best ever.
2lbs mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, prunes, apricots, whatever you have and like)
1/2 pint dry cider.
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
6oz nuts (almonds, hazlenuts, pecans, again whatever you like) I used dessicated coconut and ground almonds as that's all that I had.
8oz soft brown sugar
8oz plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
At least 6 tblsps of apple brandy, or brandy, or rum (whichever you have, it's for pouring over whilst warm...the cake that is, not you)
Chop any large pieces of fruit so everything is the size of a raisin.
Put the fruit in a pan with the cider and bring to the boil, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool. The fruit should absorb all the liquid, but if it hasn't pour it away.
Cream the butter and sugar with the rinds of the orange and lemon. Add the eggs and mix well.
Stir in the flour, with the spices. Add the chopped nuts and dried fruit, adding enough lemon and orange juice to make a soft dropping consistency.
Put it in an 8" cake tin, which has 2 layers of greaseproof paper. Wrap a thick layer of brown paper or newspaper around the tin, and secure with string. Place the tin on a baking sheet with more brown paper between the baking sheet and the cake tin.
Cook at 150C for 3/4 hours. - if it's getting too brown, put some newspaper or brown paper over the top.
When the cake is cooked, and while hot, prick it all over with a fine skewer and pour over the apple brandy etc. Leave for a further 2 hours before removing from the tin. I mix my grog with the remains of the fruit juice for extra tang.