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Southern Fruitcake

Photo: Oxmoor House
Hands-On time 40 mins
Rest time 27 hrs
Yield Serves 24 (serving size: 1/12 of a loaf cake)
Ideally, fruitcake should be made at least a month before you plan to serve it, but it will last for several months when stored tightly wrapped in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 1/4 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 2/3 cups chopped pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins (you can use all dark or 3/4 cup each dark and golden)
  • 2/3 cup chopped candied orange peel
  • 2/3 cup chopped candied pineapple
  • 2/3 cup candied cherries, halved
  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup bourbon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Nutrition Information

  • calories 298
  • fat 12 g
  • satfat 3.9 g
  • monofat 5.7 g
  • polyfat 2.3 g
  • protein 4 g
  • carbohydrate 42 g
  • fiber 2.5 g
  • cholesterol 43 mg
  • iron 0.9 mg
  • sodium 80 mg
  • calcium 26 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 250°.

  2. Coat 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray; line bottom and sides of pans with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper with cooking spray.

  3. Combine pecans and next 5 ingredients (through cherries) in a large bowl. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour to pecan mixture, tossing to coat.

  4. Combine 1 cup flour, cinnamon, and next 4 ingredients (through ginger) in a small bowl. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed 3 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour-spice mixture; beat at medium speed until blended. Add 1/4 cup bourbon and extracts, beating at low speed until blended. Stir pecan mixture into batter.

  5. Spoon batter into prepared pans, pressing firmly to pack. Press a piece of parchment paper onto surface of batter in each pan.

  6. Add water to a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish to a depth of 1 inch; place on bottom rack in oven. Place loaf pans on middle rack in oven. Bake at 250° for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

  7. Remove top piece of parchment paper. Immediately pierce cakes several times with a long wooden pick, and brush 2 tablespoons bourbon over each cake. Cool completely in pans on a wire rack. Remove from pans.

  8. Cut 2 (18-inch) pieces of cheesecloth. Soak cheesecloth in 1/2 cup bourbon. Wrap a bourbon-soaked piece of cheesecloth around each cake, and place each cake in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and store in a cool place at least 24 hours.

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