Monday, December 15, 2014

Brandied Fruit Cake

I should start by saying I don't like fruit cake. At least I don't like the kind with the candied citron fruit in it. To me that stuff was always nasty, so therefore, I never ate fruit cake.

That is UNTIL the day my friend, Liz, convinced me to try a piece of her fruit cake. She swore it didn't taste like traditional fruit cake, so I took the plunge.

Oh my goodness, this was the BEST fruit cake I'd ever had. Moist and delicious, made with real fruit "brandied" in a simple sugar syrup. It was so darn yummy.

Well that moment was many years ago, so I recently asked Liz if she remembered the fruit cake she made years ago, and she did ... but now she had to find the recipe, which I hoped she would, and she DID!  Then she sent it to me. Oh yes, I was in business now.

This recipe is circa the early 1960's and is also known to some as an Amish Friendship Cake. The process begins 6 weeks in advance making the branded fruit sauce, so you must plan ahead.

For Brandied Fruit Sauce
1 cup chunk pineapple, drained
1 cup maraschino cherries, drained
1 cup sliced peaches, drained
3 cups sugar
6 tbsp Brandy

1st week:
1 cup chunk pineapple, drained
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
Combine in a large glass container with a loose top. Stir occasionally.

3rd week:
1 cup sweet cherries, drained
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
Stir occasionally

5th week:
1 cup sliced peaches, drained
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
Stir occasionally

Sauce is ready to use in 6 weeks time from 1st week.

For Cake

1 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups brandied fruit sauce, DRAINED 

Preheat oven to 350. Beat melted butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs. Sift dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Add 2 cups brandied fruit sauce, drained & 1 cup chopped pecans (makes a very thick batter).

Grease and flour, or spray with baking spray, one Bundt Pan, Tube Pan or 5 mini-loaf pans. Bake large cake for 1 hour, or longer as needed until toothpick inserted comes out clean (mini loaves 40-45 minutes.) It will have a thick crust but will be nice & moist inside.

Yield:  1 large Bundt or Tube Pan or 5 mini-loaves

Cook's note -
mini-loaves freeze very well. Wrap small loaves in plastic wrap, place in zip-top bags, and store in the freezer.


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