Gay Cook’s Christmas Fruit Cake   

Christmas Fruit CakeMakes 3 to 4 loaf cakes – 5-in x 9-in/13 cm x 23 cm  

  • 2 lbs (1 kg) white raisins
  • 1 1/2 lbs (675g) candied pineapple pieces, coarsely chopped
  • 4 oz (112g) chopped citron peel 
  • 1 lb (450g) candied red cherries, halved
  • 1/2 lb (225g) pecans, slivered or sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) brandy or Port or liqueur
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) vanilla
  • 5 cups (1 L 250 ml)) all-purpose flour  
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) almond extract
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
  • 1 lb (450g) butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups (500 ml) granulated sugar
  • 8 roam-free, room temperature eggs
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt

1.   In large bowl, combine raisins, pineapple pieces, citron peel, cherries and almonds. Stir in brandy or port or liqueur and vanilla. Cover bowl and leave for one or two days. Stir to mix ingredients several times

2.   Line the loaf pans with contact paper or butter pans. Tie two layers brown paper around the outside of the pans extending 1” (2 cm) above rim.

3.   Preheat oven to 275ºF (130ºC) Place pan of hot water on bottom shelf of oven.

4.   In mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until mixture is fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition is well combined until all eggs are added. 

5.   Gently stir the flour and salt through the fruit and nut mixture using a rubber spatula or your hands. 

6.     Fill prepared pans. The batter will come up to the top. Smooth the top surface. Make a 1” (2.5 cm) deep trench lengthwise in the top surface to allow cake still have a flat surface when the cake is baked. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Use cake tester that comes out cleans. Cool cakes in pan. Remove from the pans and wrap well. Store in freeze at least 3 weeks before serving.