Old-English Fruit Cake

This is a solid, dark cake with just enough batter to hold the fruits and nuts together.

2 cups (1 lb.) butter

1 pound brown sugar 12 eggs, separated

4 cups regular all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons each cinnamon, mace, and cloves

1 teaspoon each allspice, nutmeg, and salt

1 pound mixed candied fruit 1 pound candied cherries 1 pound seeded raisins 1 pound seedless raisins 1 pound currants

1 pound pitted dates, cut in pieces 1/2 pound diced citron (optional)

1 pound broken walnuts

1 cup rum or brandy 1/2 cup double-strength coffee Grated peel and juice of 3 medium-sized oranges Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon Brandy or rum

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add well-beaten egg yolks and stir vigorously until smooth and creamy.

Sift flour, measure, and sift with spices. Combine candied fruit, cherries, seeded raisins, seedless raisins, currants, dates, citron, and walnuts, and mix lightly with

1 cup of the spiced flour. Add remaining flour to batter, blending alternately with mixture of rum, coffee, and fruit peel and juices. Add fruit and nut mixture and mix well.

Beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, then fold into batter.

Butter 4 loaf pans (5 by 9-inch size), line with brown paper, and butter again. Spoon in batter. Bake in a 250° oven for about 3 hours, 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Have a shallow pan of water in bottom of oven.

Set cakes in pans on wire racks to cool; remove from pan. Wrap each cake in a cloth moistened in brandy. Wrap individually in 2 layers of foil, sealing to make airtight. Age at least 1 month. Chill before slicing. Makes 4 cakes.


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