Ya think it's too late to make fruitcake?
HA!! Think again my friend. This one can be eaten right away, or it can be made in advance and sit in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Your choice.
I'm not a fruitcake person. At all. But an old friend from high school by the name of Beth was raving about this recipe so I had to give it a try. My twist...(cuz there always is one...mostly) is the fruit that I used. And the kind of rum. One of the things that I turn my nose up on with fruitcake is the candied cherries. So I decided to use tropical fruit. And the alcohol? Coconut rum.
And yes, I know there are cherries on the top of this this one. I put them there cuz they look pretty. But...there isn't a single candied cherry in that cake.
1 lb raisins
1/2 lb golden raisins
1/2 lb craisins
1 lb dried tropical fruit mix
1 lb mixed nuts
1 - 2 750ml bottles of coconut rum
1/8 cup molasses
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 lb butter
1 1/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 apricot jam (or whatever flavor you have in the fridge that you like...strawberry?)
6 TB apple jelly (or whatever flavor you have in the fridge that you like)
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 TB almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 TB cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 day in advance combine the fruits and nuts. If you like them in smaller chunks, give them a couple of pulses in the food processor. I didn't do it this time but next year I will. Put them in a large bowl and fill with enough rum to cover them (you won't need all of the rum...besides, you need to save some for the end, in order to soak these babies). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours (I've actually let them sit for 2 days and it was fine).
On baking day, drain the rum off the fruits and nuts (save that rum!!! It tastes sooo good as a little something to sip during the rest of the process. Or ever poured over a bowl of vanilla ice cream).
Preheat the oven to 275' F. Butter two or 3 loaf pans. Or get creative and use round pans or bundt pans...whatever floats your boat.
In a small bowl combine the molasses and baking soda until light in color and frothy
Ok, so my bowl was a bit on the small side.
In a large....very large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs, jam and jelly and beat well. Add the frothy molasses mixture, spices, whipping cream and almond extract. Beat well.
Get the bowl of nuts and pour the flour in there and stir until combine. Add 1 1/2 cups of the nut mixture to your butter mixture and mix well. Then add the remaining but mixture and mix well until everything is fully combined.
Divide the mixture between your prepared loaf pans. You can fill them almost to the top. This stuff doesn't rise all the much.
Bake for 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 hours (time frame depends on the size of the pans) or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
Cool for about 10 minutes than carefully remove from the pans and all to cool completely.
Once cooled, take a skewer or something similar and poke holes all over the place
Using about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your coconut rum, and pour over the cakes. Top, bottom, sides.
And watch all that rummy goodness soak right into that cake.
Now, carefully wrap each cake with plastic wrap. Then wrap them in foil and either place them in tins and store in the fridge until you're ready to eat them. Or give them away.
Note: I don't have tins. So I just put them in the fridge without the tins. When I give them away, they'll just have a bow on the foil.
When you're ready to serve them...if you have some whole dried pineapple slices....soak in some rum. Dust the top of your cake with some powdered sugar and decorate with the pineapple and maybe some cherries if you have them.
And there you have a gorgeous Tropical Fruit Cake to share for the holidays.
Loaded with fruit and nuts....
And drowning in rum.
Of course...if you're still not into eating fruitcake. No worries.....there's always the doorstop alternative. Or the continuously recycled one that keeps going from one family to another...you can just add it to the rounds. But if I were you, I'd give this one a try. I think the tropical twist is a plus and the coconut rum wonderful!
Thank you Beth!!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays my friends.