Well, I rarely equate September with fruit cakes, but others most clearly do. I’ve been challenged to come up with a fruit cake to live in history in the electronic archives of a certain Australian blogger – our very own Flaming Dancer!
So, my dear, this fruit cake is for you (I suppose you could interpret that comment in a number of ways, but I’m offering it in the nicest one possible). This is from my battered and loose-paged “Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies” and has been on my favorites list for many, many years.
It’ll go splendidly with (or in, I suppose) brandy, coffee, tea, eggnog or what have you. It doesn’t last a week in my household and often travels great distances, in expensive Express Mail envelopes, around holiday time. You may need to decode the ingredient and temperature measures to match what you have, but the effort expended will be worth it!
California Fruit Cake
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of one 9×5 inch or two 8×4 inch loaf pans with parchment paper.
Mix together in a large bowl:
- 3/4 cup (3.75 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Add and mix thoroughly with your fingers:
- 3/4 cup (6 oz) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 packed cup (5.5 oz) dried apricot halves
- 2 cups (12 oz) quartered dates
- 3 cups (10 oz) walnut halves
In a small bowl, beat until light:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and mix, using your hands, until all of the fruit and nut pieces are coated. Scrape into the pan and bake for about one hour and 10-20 minutes for the smaller loaves, or one hour and 30-40 minutes for the larger loaf, or until the top is deep golden brown and the batter clinging to the fruit and nut pieces seems set. Tent loosely with foil if the loaves are browning too quickly.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 – 10 minutes before unmolding.
Wrap, airtight, and store at least three days before serving.