Fruit Cake

This is my mother’s fruitcake recipe that I grew up loving. I remember thinking the glossy fruits looked like a bowl full of sweet, colourful jewels. She always served it at Christmas, and she also chose to make it as our wedding cake. My husband can’t abide fruit cake, which he didn’t disclose until after we were married, but he manfully ate the bite of this cake that I fed him at our wedding! Too right! Baked by his newly-minted mother-in-law and offered by his bride…what choice did he have really? That was the last bite of it to ever cross his lips, but I make it anyway as our daughters are fond of it like me 🙂 Last week, I whipped up a batch so it can sit in the freezer until Christmas. (…if I hide it at the back!).

3 cups Thompson raisins
2 cups sultana raisins
2 cups glace cherries (I use a mix of red and green)
1 cup candied pineapple
1 1/2 cups dried blueberries
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup concord grape juice
1 cup slivered almonds
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 Tbsp. hot water

Combine fruits, pour grape juice over and let stand overnight. Add almonds and dredge fruit and nuts with 1/2 of the flour. Combine remaining flour with salt, cinnamon, allspice and baking soda. Sift three times.

Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time and continue to cream. Add molasses. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients. This is where you part company with your mixer and stir in the rest with a wooden spoon. Add half of the fruit mixture, the rest of the sifted ingredients, and the final half of the fruit. Add the melted chocolate and hot water and stir in.

 

Pour into 2 greased-paper-lined loaf pans. Bake approximately 2 hours at 300 degrees F. Let stand a month to age, or put it in the freezer until needed. Mine was never the same texture as Mom’s until I started freezing it. She, in fact, would serve last year’s cake as it would have improved in the freezer!

This slice was cut (for research purposes!) before being completely cooled so it looks like it has more crumb than it does.

 

 

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