Granny Thelma’s Christmas FruitcakeRecipe By: Thelma Lawlor
Wooden fruitcake boxes can be purchased online but are also easy to build at home. Or, you can bake in a 9-inch x 5-inch x 3-inch loaf pan. Though there are varying opinions on how long a fruitcake needs to mature, this cake does well made anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks in advance.
- 2 cups dried currants
- 2 cups sultanas
- 1⁄2 cup dried figs, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups glace fruit mix, chopped
- 1 cup mixed peel
- 1⁄2 cup dark rum or brandy, plus more for feeding
- 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3⁄4 cup firmly packed demerara sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup molasses
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3⁄4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1⁄2 tsp all spice
- 1⁄2 cup ground almonds
- 1 cup whole almonds
- In a pot over medium heat, combine currants, sultanas, figs, glace mix, mixed peel and 1⁄4 cup rum. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely with lid on. This will soften the fruit. Alternatively, allow fruit and rum to sit together in an airtight container overnight.
- Cream butter with sugar until pale and fluffy. Stir in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in molasses, soaked fruit and liquid.
- In separate bowl, mix flour with baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and allspice, then stir dry ingredients into wet. Stir in ground almonds and make sure batter is fully combined.
- Line the interior of the box with parchment paper. Pour in batter and smooth the top to avoid creating a dome in the center. Arrange almonds on top.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Bake in center of oven, uncovered, for 1 hour.
- Reduce heat to 275°F and cover loosely with parchment paper. Bake for 1 more hour, then check cake for doneness. If needed, continue baking until skewer inserted into cake comes out clean.
- Remove from oven; allow to cool in box.
- Poke holes in top of cake and brush on remaining 1⁄4 cup rum.
- Fully wrap box in plastic wrap to allow cake to mature, storing at room temperature.
- If maturing your cake, feed it once a week. Unwrap the plastic and brush on 1 to 2 tablespoon of brandy or rum to add moistness and flavour, and then rewrap.