This dried fruit cake is totally unlike the usual English fruitcake, which uses glacéed fruit. I adapted it from a recipe that my talented friend and fellow blogger
Plan Ahead For best flavor, complete the cake 1 day ahead if using the rum.
|mixed dried fruit, coarsely chopped (see Note)||about
|lemon juice, freshly squeezed|
|dark brown sugar, preferably Muscovado|
|orange zest, finely grated||.|
|pure vanilla extract||.||.|
|bleached all-purpose flour|
|fine sea salt||.|
|dark rum (optional)|
One 13 by 9 by 2 inch high metal pan (or two 8 or 9 by 2 inch round cake pans), wrapped with cake strips, bottom coated with shortening, topped with parchment, then coated with baking spray with flour
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and
Spread the pecans evenly on a baking sheet and
In a medium bowl, place the dried fruit and cover with boiling water. Let the fruit sit for 5 minutes and then drain well.
Just before mixing the batter, peel and core the apples. Chop them into small pieces, about
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the superfine sugar and brown sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. The mixture will look like wet sand. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped apples, orange zest, and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring after each addition until uniformly incorporated.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the dried fruit and pecans until they are evenly coated with the flour mixture.
Add the apple mixture. Use a silicone spatula to stir and fold the batter until well mixed. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan (or divide it evenly between the round cake pans, about
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. To prevent splitting, reinvert the cake so that the top side is up, and cool completely for about 2 hours.
If you enjoy a heightened rum flavor along with a little extra moistness, use the optional
Cool completely for about 2 hours and wrap airtight.
If you are planning to store the cake for several weeks to 6 months, you will need to wrap the cake in a rum-soaked cheesecloth, followed by two layers of plastic wrap, and then heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Cut a piece of cheesecloth large enough to wrap the entire cake, and sheets of plastic wrap to encase the cake airtight. Make a
Store the cake in the refrigerator. Every 2 months, open the plastic wrap and sprinkle another
Airtight: room temperature, 5 days; refrigerated, 3 weeks; frozen, 6 months. Add extra rum if the cake seems to be getting slightly drier.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.