Fruitcake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 2 1/2 cups raisins, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups currants
  • 2 cups chopped glace cherries
  • 1 cup brandy or rum
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup soft, dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam (jelly)
  • 2 tablespoons treacle or molasses
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon or orange rind
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Put fruit in bowl with brandy and soak overnight. Preheat oven to 300°. Line 9-inch round cake pan with melted butter or mild-flavored vegetable oil. To wrap pan, cut double layer of grease-proof parchment paper into strip long enough to fit around outside of pan and tall enough to come about 2 inches above edge of pan. Fold down cuff about 3/4 inch deep along length of strip along folded edges. Make diagonal cuts up to fold line on each strip, about 1/2 inch apart. Fit strip around inside of pan, with cuts on base, pressing cuts out at right angles so they sit flat around base. Place pan on doubled piece of parchment paper, and trace edge. Cut shape and place on base of pan, over cuts.
Beat butter and sugar. Beat in jam (jelly), treacle and rind. Add eggs, beating after each addition. Stir in fruit and sifted flour and spices.
Spoon mixture into pan, ensuring it is pushed well into corners and edges. Smooth surface with fingers dipped in water. Tap pan to remove any air bubbles. Adjust oven shelves accordingly. Cakes are usually cooked on third shelf. Place on layers of newspapers in oven (the oven temperature is low enough to use paper safely), and bake 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until skewer comes out clean. Brush with brandy. Cover with grease-proof (parchment) paper and wrap in kitchen towel. Let cool in pan, and remove when cake is cold.

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