*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                       BRANDIED FRUIT CAKES (SHARON)
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Cakes                            Fruit
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    4 1/2   c            Raisins
    2 1/4   c            Currants
      1/2   lb           Soft butter or margarine
      1/2   lb           Soft shortening
    2       c            Sugar
    1       tb           Vanilla extract
    1       tb           Almond extract
   12                    Eggs
    1       c            Orange juice concentrate
                         (not thawed)
      1/2   c            Honey
    4 1/2   c            Unsifted all purpose flour
    2       ts           Baking powder
    1       t            Baking soda
    1       t            Salt
    1       t            Nutmeg
      1/2   ts           Cloves (ground)
    1       c            Pitted dates, cut up
    2 1/4   c            Candied cherries
    1       c            Blanched almonds, halved
   **NOTE**  I take the whole amount of fruit (10 cups)
   and make a nice looking mixture.  I don't necessarily
   use the amounts shown.  If the candied fruit is on
   sale, I just use more of it than the raisins.  I still
   end up with the 10 cups, but it is usually more of the
   fruit mix and candied pineapple.  The almonds I use
   are the slivered ones.  Easier to work with...  The
   original recipe called for brandy or grape juice, but
   I found that if you substitute the orange juice
   concentrate, it has a nicer flavour.
   Use 2 tube pans 10x4 each, or 5 loaf pans.  Line pans
   with 2-3 thicknesses of brown paper or 1 thickness of
   heavy foil; grease well with unsalted shortening. (I
   use lard to grease and don't need to line with paper)
   Wash raisins and currants and dry thoroughly between
   paper towels.  Beat butter and shorteningtogether very
   thoroughly; when smooth and fluffy, add sugar
   gradually, beating continuously.  Blend in vanilla and
   almond extract.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating
   after each addition.  Beat in orange juice and honey.
   This may cause the batter to appear separated, but it
   will not affect results.  Sift together remaining dry
   ingredients. Mix prepared fruits and almonds in large
   mixing bowl; add sifted dry ingredients, and mix well
   to coat pieces.  Scrape egg and butter mixture into
   bowl, and, using hands, combine very thoroughly. Fill
   each pan 3/4 full.  Preheat oven to 275F.  Bake cakes
   1-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours, depending on size of pans used.
   After first hour or so, place pan of water on bottom
   of oven to prevent cakes from drying out. When cakes
   test done, remove from oven, and let pans stand on
   racks until cakes are completely cooled. Remove from
   pans, and peel of paper linings. Let ripen 4-5 weeks
   before serving. This recipe makes dark moist cake,
   rich with fruits and mingled flavors of spices, honey,
   and the like. If desired, recipe may be halved with
   good results.
   When they come out of the oven, I let them sit for a
   few minutes and then take them out of the pans while
   still fairly hot.  Let them cool for maybe 15-20
   minutes and then pack them while still warm.  I pour
   1/4 to 1/2 cup brandy (apricot, orange, or cherry)
   onto the cakes, wrap in double thickness of Handy
   wrap, then wrap in tin foil securely.  I then store
   them in the basement where it is cool and every couple
   of days I turn them to make sure that the brandy
   diffuses throughout the whole cake. I have NEVER had
   this recipe fail me.  I am asked for it by most of my
   family members as I send them for presents at
   Christmas.  I have tried other recipes, but this one
   has the moistest results I have found. By pouring the
   brandy on AFTER it is cooked, you get a cake that
   kicks!! (for our A.A. friends, I make “dry” ones with
   no brandy and it still stays moist.)
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