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Author Notes: Here’s one of my mother’s best cake recipes. (She had quite a few. Many were from the sides of boxes of flour, cocoa or other basic ingredients. As she aptly stated in a letter to my niece, which included several family-favorite icing recipes, the food companies want you to buy their product, so they make sure their recipes are good.) I typed this recipe while visiting my parents many years ago, and included this note, based on comments made by my mother at the time: “From the mother of Nan Roberts, one of Mother’s sorority sisters, who served it at a Christmas party in 1949, and was kind enough to send it to Mother shortly thereafter.” Enjoy! ;o) —AntoniaJames
Makes 1 large tube cake or two large loaves
- ½ pound golden raisins
- 1 pound dried sour cherries
- ¾ pound butter
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 egg yolks – beaten
- 5 cups all purpose flour – sifted before measuring
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 6 egg whites – beaten until stiff but not dry
- 1 pound shelled pecan halves or pieces
- 2 cups Kentucky whiskey + more for soaking the cloth used to wrap the loaves
- Soak overnight the raisins and cherries in the bourbon.
- When ready to bake the cake, heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Cream until light the butter and sugar; add the egg yolks and beat well.
- Add soaked fruit and whiskey, along with the soaking liquid.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and nutmeg. Add to the batter, along with the pecans. Stir well to combine.
- Fold in the beaten egg whites. (Mrs. Roberts's recipe doesn't include this, but I always stir in about a third of the whites to lighten the batter before folding the rest.)
- Bake in a large, generously buttered tube pan for three hours, or in two loaf pans lined with parchment (make a sling coming up the two long sides) and well buttered at the ends, for about 1 ½ hours, or until a tester comes clean.
- Let cool thoroughly. Wrap in cheesecloth soaked in whiskey and store in a tightly covered container.
- Slices best when cold.
- Enjoy!! ;o)
- N.B. You can use dried cherries instead of candied cherries, if you like. I typically use only 3/4 pound of dried, and add ¼ cup of whiskey, as the dried cherries will absorb more than the candied ones. Next summer, I hope to make my own candied cherries, having recently stumbled on an appealing and reliable recipe for doing so in the first “Tartine” cookbook.
- Also, if you don’t own a sifter and don’t care to buy one, try to borrow one to use when making this. With this much flour to be sifted twice, it’s well worth using a sifter and not a sieve, as many seem wont to do these days.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Family Recipe
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