Black Fruit Cake
|Candied citron peel||1⁄4 Pound|
|Shelled walnuts/Pecans||1⁄4 Pound|
|Candied lemon||1⁄8 Pound|
|Sifted all purpose flour||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Candied orange peel||1⁄8 Pound|
|Candied cherries||1⁄2 Pound|
|Candied pineapple||1 Pound|
|Baking soda||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Golden raisins||1 Pound|
|Butter||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Seedless raisins||1⁄2 Pound|
|Sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Brown sugar||1 Cup (16 tbs), firmly packed|
|Dark rum/Cognac / sherry / madeira||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Blanched shelled almonds||1⁄4 Pound|
|Almond extract||1 Teaspoon|
The fruits and nuts should be prepared a day ahead as follows: sliver the citron, lemon, and orange peel into very thin strips; cut the cherries in half and the pineapple in thin wedges.
Pick over the raisins and currants to eliminate stray stems or seeds, add rum, cognac, sherry, or Madeira, and soak overnight.
Chop the almonds and the walnuts or pecans coarsely.
Set them aside, too.
The following day, prepare the pan.
Grease a 10 inch tube pan, four 1 pound coffee cans, or 2 bread pans, measuring 9X5X3 inches.
Line with brown paper.
To make the cake: Mix 1/2 cup of the sifted flour with all the fruits and nuts in a large bowl.
Sift remaining flour with spices and baking soda.
Cream butter until soft, then work in granulated sugar and brown sugar, a little at a time, until mixture is smooth.
Stir in the eggs, milk, almond extract, and, finally, the flour mixture.
Pour over the fruit and nuts and work together, with your hands, until batter is very well mixed.
Lift the batter into the pan or pans and press it down firmly to make a compact cake when cooked.
Bake in a preheated 275° oven.
A tube pan that uses all the batter will take 3 1/4 hours; the bread pans, which will each hold half the batter, 2 1/4 hours; the coffee cans, which each hold one fourth of the batter, 2 hours.
Remove cakes from oven, let stand half an hour, then turn out onto cake racks.
Peel off the brown paper very carefully.
The four small, round cakes make attractive Christmas presents.
To age fruitcakes: Allow at least 4 weeks.
Wrap each cake in several layers of cheesecloth well soaked in rum, cognac, sherry, or Madeira.
Place in an airtight container, such as a large crock or kettle, and cover tightly.
If cheesecloth dries out, moisten it with a little of the wine or spirits.
Do not overdo it.
The cakes should be firm, not'soft, at the end of the aging period.
This will make them easy to slice in neat, compact slices.
If you wish to frost fruitcakes after they have been properly aged, cover the top first with Almond Paste, then with Milk Frosting.
To decorate, make a garland of candied cherries, slivered angelica, and blanched whole almonds around the edge of the cake.