Dark fruitcake

Yield: 40 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Golden raisins
2 cups Currants
2 cups Dried apricot halves
2 cups Dried figs, halved
1 cup Pitted prunes
1 cup Pitted dates
4 cups Walnuts, in large pieces
2 cups Pecans, in large pieces
3 Oranges, Grated zest only
3 Lemons, Grated zest only
½ cup Candied ginger, chopped
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground allspice
1 teaspoon Mace
½ teaspoon Cloves
1 cup Molasses
2 cups Brandy (or substitute apple juice or water)
½ cup Orange liqueur (or orange juice)
4 cups All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1½ teaspoon Salt
1 pounds Butter
3 cups Dark brown sugar
8 Eggs
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract

THE DAY BEFORE combine all dried fruits, nuts and zest in a mixing bowl. Add the candied ginger and the spices and toss well to mix. Add molasses and liquids and mix well. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 275F. Grease 4 (9-by-5-by-3-inch) loaf pans, line them with waxed paper and grease the paper. Coat lightly with flour. Sprinkle 1 cup flour over fruit mixture and stir it. Combine the remaining 3 cups of flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt and sift them together on a sheet of waxed paper. Cream the butter, add the brown sugar and beat well.

Add eggs, 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Add all dry ingredients and beat until batter is blended and smooth. Pour batter over fruit, mix well until everything is coated with batter. Divide batter among loaf pans, filling to ½ inch below top. Bake for 2 hours. Don't worry if they crack on top. Cakes are done when a straw inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 4 Cakes

MARION CUNNINGHAM

PRODIGY GUEST CHEFS COOKBOOK

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