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Author Notes: The first time I had fruitcake that was actually delicious, it knocked my socks off because it is everything fruitcake is not supposed to be: moist, flavorful, not too sweet and just the right amount of booze. This is that recipe. —Sam
Makes 1 - 9 x 13" pan or 2 - 9 x 5" loaf cakes
For the fruit
- 4 ounces golden raisins
- 4 ounces currants
- 4 ounces pecans, toasted and chopped
- 3 ounces candied ginger, chopped
- 3 ounces dried apricots, chopped
- 3 ounces dried sour cherries
- 2 fl ounces bourbon, good quality
- Add all of the dried fruit, nuts and candied ginger in a bowl. Pour alcohol over mixture and stir to combine. Cover and let macerate for 24 hours.
For the cake
- 10 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 10 ounces granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ounce corn syrup, brown rice syrup or honey
- 1 ounce bourbon
- 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
- zest of 1 small lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 6 ounces bread flour
- 6 ounces cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 fl ounces bourbon, for the soak
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray/butter and flour two 9” x 5” loaf pans. Cream butter and sugar with a paddle attachment in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about three minutes. At medium low speed, add eggs one at a time. Add the syrup, bourbon, almond extract, lemon zest and juice; beat for one minute until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour to batter; mix until just combined. Gently fold in the macerated fruit.
- Divide batter between the two pans, smoothing tops. Bake on center rack until cakes are just done (when a tester comes out nearly clean). About 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Allow cakes to cool in pans on a wire rack. Remove from pans when cool to the touch.
- For the soak, either put the alcohol in a spray bottle and spritz cakes, or use a pastry brush to apply the alcohol, adding up to ½ c. alcohol to each loaf over the course of a few hours or up to two days, making sure the liquid doesn’t pool. Between soakings, keep the cakes in a container or seal them in a bag.