St. Nicholas Dried-Fruit Cake

Notes: Bake this cake at least 1 day or up to 2 months ahead; cool and wrap in cheesecloth or a thin towel saturated with orange-flavor liqueur. Chill airtight, and about every 10 days, moisten cloth with more liqueur. Serve thin slices of cake plain, with vanilla ice cream topped with rum-plumped raisins, or with rum-raisin ice cream. Wrap and continue to age extra cake.

Yield: Makes 1 cake; about 25 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 351
  • Calories from fat: 38%
  • Protein: 3.6g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated fat: 5.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 54g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Sodium: 105mg
  • Cholesterol: 71mg

Ingredients

  • About 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pound (2 2/3 cups) dried apricots
  • 1/2 pound (2 cups) pecan halves
  • 1/2 pound dried lightly sweetened pineapple
  • 1/2 pound (2 cups) dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/2 pound (2 cups) dried cherries or blueberries
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons orange-flavor liqueur

Preparation

  1. 1. Lightly butter a 5- by 9-inch loaf pan. Line with cooking parchment.
  2. 2. In a bowl with a mixer, beat 1 cup butter with sugar until fluffy.
  3. 3. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until well blended. Beat in molasses.
  4. 4. Mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and allspice. Add to egg mixture; beat just until blended.
  5. 5. Set aside 6 to 8 apricots, 10 to 12 pecan halves, and 1 pineapple ring.
  6. 6. Cut remaining pineapple into 3/4-inch pieces and add to batter along with the remaining apricots and pecans and the cranberries and cherries. Stir until well mixed.
  7. 7. Scrape batter into parchment-lined pan, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; spread top level.
  8. 8. Bake in a 275° oven until cake is firm in center when touched, about 3 hours. If it browns too rapidly, drape with foil.
  9. 9. Cool in pan on rack at least 2 1/2 hours. Lift out cake; peel off parchment.
  10. 10. Mix apricot jam with liqueur and brush over top of cake. Decoratively arrange reserved apricots, pecans, and pineapple in apricot glaze; brush more apricot jam mixture over fruit. Wrap airtight and chill at least 1 day.
  11. Nutritional analysis per 3 ounces.
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