Classic fruit cake made with soaked unsweetened dried fruit. A festive, flavorful, and moist fruit cake to enjoy all holiday season. This family recipe will make you a fruit cake convert!
SOAKED FRUIT MIXTURE:
- 1 and 1/4 cups (200 grams) dark raisins
- 1 and 1/4 cups (200 grams) golden raisins
- 2 cups (320 grams) mixed unsweetened dried fruit, chopped
- 1 cup (160 grams) dried unsweetened black figs, chopped
- 1 cup (160 grams) dried unsweetened tart cherries, chopped
- 3/4 cup (120 grams) dried unsweetened prunes, chopped
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces; 180 mL) dark rum
FRUIT CAKE INGREDIENTS:
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 stick (4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (160 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, and coarsely grated
- 3/4 cup (90 grams) slivered almonds (or chopped pecans or walnuts)
- 3 tablespoons (36 grams) finely diced crystallized ginger
- one batch soaked fruit mixture(see above)
- optional add-in: 2/3 cup (100 grams) chopped bittersweet chocolate or dark chocolate chips
DECORATIVE GLAZE (OPTIONAL):
- 1/4 cup (72 grams) apricot preserves
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
- whole pecans, for garnishing
The Day Before Baking:
Combine the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl. Add the dark rum, cover, and allow the mixture to soak at room temperature for a minimum of 12 hours, or ideally 24 hours prior to preparing the fruit cake batter.
Prepare the Fruitcake:
- Preheat the oven to 300F (150C) with a rack in the center position. Set aside two 8x4-inch loaf pans.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and light brown sugar together over medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Reduce speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating just until each egg is incorporated. The mixture will look slightly broken, that’s ok.
- Over low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until just absorbed. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Add the lemon zest, orange zest, fresh orange juice, grated apple, slivered almonds, diced candied ginger, soaked dried fruit mixture (with any liquid if it hasn’t already been absorbed), and chocoate (if using).
- Stir mixture with a large spatula, scraping the edges and bottom of the bowl several times, until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated. It is a very thick, fruit heavy mixture.
- Transfer and divide the batter evenly among the loaf pans. Use an offset spatula to smooth the batter into an even layer. Set the loaf pans on the center rack, several inches apart from one another. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway, or until the cakes have set. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely before removing from the pans.
- For Garnishing: If desired, you can top the fruitcake with a light apricot glaze and whole pecans before serving. Combine the apricot preserves and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a light simmer, stirring until the glaze is shiny and thin. If it is too thin for glazing, reduce to desired consistency. If it becomes too thick, add a teaspoon of water. Brush the tops of the fruitcakes with apricot glaze and garnish with whole pecans.