How to Make It
Place orange and lemon peel in a small saucepan; add cold water to a depth of 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high; drain. Repeat process 3 more times using cold water each time.
Place 1 cup water and 2 cups of the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high; bring to a boil. Add orange and lemon peels to pan; reduce heat to low, and simmer until peel is tender and translucent, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool completely. Dice orange and lemon peel.
Combine diced orange and lemon peel, raisins, and rum in a bowl; stir gently. Cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 275°F. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine applesauce and vinegar in a separate bowl.
Place butter and remaining 2 cups sugar in a large mixing bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add flour mixture alternately with applesauce mixture in 5 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in raisin mixture and pecans.
Divide batter evenly among 4 (9- x 5-inch) loaf pans coated with baking spray. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 2 hours. Cool in pans on a wire rack about 30 minutes. Remove fruitcakes from pans; cool completely on rack, about 1 hour. Wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Store at room temperature for up to 1 week or refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.