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Holiday Fruitcake

Here is a fruitcake recipe that is outstanding! Even those folks who don't
like fruitcake will enjoy this one. Instead of using candied fruit, this
recipe uses dried fruit. It takes some work to prepare the fruitcake, but
is worth the effort. I make this fruitcake every year and give it to
friends and family. They always ask for the recipe.

I modified the original recipe to omit the whole egg and the 1/2 cup of
canola oil (it's such a large recipe that the oil only brought the fat
content to 15 percent, but that is still too high for this list).



Fabulous Holiday Fruitcake

From Susan Purdy's, Have Your Cake and Eat It Too. Comments are from her book.

Yield:  Makes 14 cups of batter; 8 small loaves (5 1/2 x 3 x 2 1/8), 8
servings each or 4 average loaves (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4), 16 servings

Advance preparation:  If you have the time, the fruit benefits from
macerating for 24 hours in rum or brandy; otherwise mix up the fruit before
you make the cakes.  Cakes can be wrapped in cloths soaked in brandy or
dark rum and stored in tins for (theoretically) several months.  I have
only kept them soaking up to 1 month because I prefer to freeze the cakes
after aging them in spirit-soaked clothes for 1 week.  At holiday time, I
am usually rushed, so I often forget the soaking and aging and just bake
the cakes, glaze them, wrap airtight in several layers of plastic wrap and
a heavy duty plastic zip-lock bag, and freeze.  Then you can remove from
the freezer, add a ribbon and a recipe card (and if you are feeling
expensive, a new loaf pan) and give as gifts.

Special equipment:
*8 small loaf pans (5 1/2 x 3 x 2 1/8 inches; 2 1/4 cup capacity) or 4
average loaf pans (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches; 5 1/4 cup capacity)
*Wax paper or baking parchment
*Extra large bowl
*Muslin, cotton fabric, or cheesecloth (optional)
*Metal or plastic boxes for storing cakes (optional)

Temperature and Time:  350F for 60-65 minutes for small loaves; 1 hour and
15-20 minutes for average loaves.

1 cup (6 oz) cut-up dried pears, packed
1 cup (6 oz) cut-up dried peaches, packed
1 cup (6 oz) cut-up dried apricots, packed
1 cup (6 oz) cut-up dried pitted prunes, packed
1 cup (6 oz) cut-up dried pitted dates, packed
1 3/4 cup (6 oz) cut-up dried apple slices, packed
1 cup (5 oz) seedless raisins, packed
1 cup (5 oz) golden raisins, packed
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) dried currants, packed
1/2 cup (4 oz) candied yellow pineapple, chopped (optional)
1 cup dark rum or brandy

Butter-flavor nonstick cooking spray
4 large egg whites
1 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup apple or orange juice
2 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. grated orange zest or 1/2 tsp. pure orange oil or orange extract
2 1/4 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1 cup unsifted whole wheat pastry flour (or use a total of 3 1/4 cups all
purpose white flour)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 cup wheat germ

Dark rum or brandy for soaking cakes (optional)
2 recipes Vanilla Icing Glaze (recipe follows)

1.  Twenty-four hours before baking the cakes (or as early on the baking
day as possible), assemble all the fruit in a large bowl.  Stir in the dark
rum or brandy, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.

2.  Position 2 racks to divide the oven in thirds, and preheat the oven to
350°F.  Lightly grease the pans with the nonstick spray.  Cut wax paper or
parchment liners or fit inside, and press the papers against the greased
pan bottom and sides.  Lightly coat the paper with cooking spray.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, brown sugar, honey, juice,
applesauce, vanilla, and grated orange zest or orange flavoring.  Whisk, or
beat with an electric mixer on low, to blend well. Set a large strainer
over the bowl and ad both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, salt and
spices.  Stir and sift the dry ingredients onto the wet.  Add the wheat
germ.  With the whisk, or the mixer at low speed, mix until just blended.
Do not over beat.

 4.  Stir the spirit-soaked fruit into the batter and blend well.  Divide
the batter among the prepared pans, filling them about three quarters full.
(The batter is very heavy, and while it does rise, it will not overflow the
pans.)  Bake small loaves for about 60-65 minutes and regular loaves for
about 1 hour and 15-20 minutes, or until the cakes are risen and golden
brown on top, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

5.  Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes.  Then
tip them gently from the pans, peel off the paper, and set them right side
up on wire racks to cool completely.

6.  When the cakes are completely cool, if you like, wrap them in rum- or
brandy-soaked cloths, place in heavy-duty zip lock bags or plastic boxes,
and set in a cool, dark location to age for about 1 month.  Renew the
sprits when they dry out.  (Do not attempt to substitute fruit juice for
spirits; only alcohol will preserve the cakes.)

7.  To glaze the cakes, set them on racks over wax paper.  Drizzle some of
the glaze on top of each cake, letting it run down the sides. Let sit until
the glaze is dried and set, about 30 minutes.  When the glaze is hard, you
can wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and freeze them, or give them as gifts,
or slice and serve.

Vanilla Icing Glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp. apple juice or strained orange juice, or dark rum or brandy
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk together the sugar, liquid and the extract.  Add a few more drops of
liquid if needed to make a glaze soft enough to drip from a spoon.

**Important Note:  This nutritional information includes the whole egg and
1/2 cup canola oil. I don't have an analysis program, so I am unable to
give you the analysis for the modified recipe. I'm including this
information mainly for the sodium content because I know that in addition
to watching their fat intake, many people on the Fatfree list watch their
sodium intake.**

Nutritional Analysis per serving:
147 calories
2 g protein
2 g fat
0.2 saturated fat
30 g carbohydrates
41 mg sodium
3 mg cholesterol

Bethann Dennis Watson     ~    Technical Editor      ~    Cisco Systems, Inc