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CHRISTMAS FRUITCAKE
(Also known as the Bride’s Cake)
Yield: 2 9x4 tube cakes or 4 8x 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 disposable loaf pans

8 ounces glacé red cherries
8 ounces glacé pineapple
4 ounces dried apricots
7 ounces golden raisins
2 cups dark rum
6 ounces sugar glazed ginger, soaked 10 minutes in warm water to cover
2 1/2 cups cake flour, measured after sifting 3x
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (1/2 pound)
2 cups granulated sugar
6 jumbo graded egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
3 ounces blanched, slivered almonds
3 ounces coarsely-chopped Florida pecans
6 jumbo graded egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 9x4-inch or 2 8x2 1/2-inch tube pans with permanent bottoms, or
Grand Marnier or Amaretto liqueur

1. Cut cherries into quarters. Slice pineapple and apricots into small pieces and combine in a bowl with the raisins and rum.
2. Cover ginger with water to soften 10 minutes. Slice ginger into thin strips and add to the fruit mixture.
3. Combine the flour with the baking powder and salt and sift three times.
4. Cream butter and sugar on high speed of an electric mixer until white and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time on medium speed, beating well after each addition. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Add lemon and orange juice. Add flour on low speed, scraping sides several times.
5. Stir fruit mixture into the batter. Stir in almonds and pecans.
6. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating on high speed until thick. Add sugar and beat until thick peaks form. Fold into the batter in 3rds.
7. Preheat oven to 275*F.
8. Grease the tube pan well with vegetable oil. (This is not necessary for disposable pans.) Spoon the cake mixture in loosely, and tap the bottom of the pan(s) several times on the counter top to incorporate it evenly.
9. Place the pan(s) in another pan with water 2-inches deep. Bake the cake 4 hours, or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out dry. If cakes are baked in disposable pans, timing will change to 2 1/2 hours. Turn the pan(s) upside down until the cake has cooled. If baked in aluminum loaf pans, this is not necessary.
10. Remove the tube cakes from their pan(s).Leave the disposable pans intact. Wrap the tube cakes in a double layer of cheesecloth and set in a tightly closed container. Brush the cakes with Grand Marnier (for an orange flavor, or Amaretto (for an almond flavor) every week for a minimum of 4 weeks. Let the cakes age another 2-3 weeks before serving for optimum flavor.
NOTE: The fruit is best when marinated in the rum several hours or overnight before making the cake.

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