Fruitcake is one of my more favorite holiday treats.  It’s definitely gotten a bad rap over the years – mainly due to the canned grocery store cakes that were mass-produced over the years.

A real, homemade fruitcake is different.

We had a lot of dried fruit in the house so I used it instead of going out and getting currants and glacéed cherries and the like.  I also found small tubs of the glacéed fruits that were not full of high fructose corn syrup and red dye No. 3.  It’s not easy to find, so choose your battles.

This recipe is a variation of a Gourmet recipe from 1991.

  • 2 cups mixed diced glacéed fruits
  • 3 cups golden raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup rum
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped assorted nuts
  • 1/4 cup peach jam mixed with 1 tbsp rum

In a large bowl combine all of the fruits with the rum and let macerate overnight.

Line the bottom of a well-buttered 9 1/2-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper and butter the paper. Into a small bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, and the spices.

Cream together the butter and the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy and beat in 4 of the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Drain the fruit mixture in a sieve set over the batter and beat the juices into the batter.

Stir the flour mixture into the batter, one fourth at a time, stir in the fruit mixture, the almond meal, and the nuts, stirring until the mixture is just combined, and turn the batter out into the prepared pan.

Put 2 loaf pans, each filled with hot water, in a preheated 300°F. oven and put the springform pan between them. Bake the cake for 1 hour, brush the top with the remaining egg, beaten lightly, and bake the cake for 1 hour more. While the cake is baking, in a saucepan melt the peach jam with the remaining 1 tablespoon rum over moderate heat, bring the mixture to a boil, and strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the solids.

Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes.  Remove from pan. Brush the top of the cake with glaze.

The cake will keep, covered, for 6 months.