The picture is just not doing this justice.  This really looks so much better in person – and wow!  Does it ever taste good!

I’m a little late making the fruitcakes this year.  Usually they’re done by late October and definitely before Thanksgiving.   But since I’m less than 2 weeks past “Stir-Up Sunday” – the traditional day of making fruitcakes in Britain – I’m not too concerned.

I went hunting for a new recipe this year.  I’ve tired of the Apricot Macadamia Fruitcake I’ve made for the past 20-odd years and while the cakes I made last year were okay, they were just okay.  I wanted something better.

I didn’t find a recipe I really like, so I found one I knew I could reinvent.

It worked.

The 2009 Fruitcake

  • 5 cups golden raisins
  • 4 cups dark raisins
  • 3 cups dried currants
  • 5 cups chopped glacéed fruits
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 tbsp Lyle’s Golden Syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 10 large eggs
  • 3 cups pecans

Mix dried fruits in large bowl.  Heat water and rum and pour over fruit.  Mix well.  Mix in syrup and baking soda. Let stand until fruit mixture absorbs liquid, stirring often, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325°. Butter 9 full-sized loaf pans.

Sift flour, baking powder,and salt into medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.

Add flour. Mix until just blended.

Mix batter and fruit mixture. Divide mixture among pans. Cover pans with foil.

Bake at 325° about 1 1/2 hours. Reduce oven temperature to 275°and continue to bake covered until tester comes out clean but slightly moist, about 30 minutes longer.

Transfer pans to cooling rack.  Remove foil and drizzle about a tablespoon (or more) rum on each cake while hot.

Wrap and store in a cool place, adding more rum weekly.

I actually had Lyle’s Golden Syrup (available at Wegmans) but if you don’t, use a light molasses.  I also resisted using any other spices and I’m really glad I did.  The flavors worked perfectly and will only improve with age – and a bit more rum!