Originally Posted by Andy M.
You should be able to get suet from a butcher shop.
I understand people consider fruitcake a joke. That's probably because there are some crappy fruitcakes out there. I happen to like fruitcake and have had some good store bought versions. I haven't yet made a fruitcake. I don't even have a recipe.
-16 ounces mixed dried fruit (candied peel, zante currants, raisins, sultanas (golden raisins, I think)
-about 3-4 ounces of other dried, glace or crystallised fruit eg cherries (halved), and /or crystallised pineapple, mango, paw paw or chopped prnes or dried apricots or anything you have to hand. add a handful of nuts if you like.
-4 ounces butter
-4 ounces brown sugar eg Demerara or muscovado or any soft brown sugar
-5 fluid ounces of mixed water and whisky or rum or sherry or you can just use 5 ounces of the alcohol if you prefer.
Put these in a saucepan and heat gently to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. When the butter and sugar are liquefied turn up the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes (don't turn your back on it as it might over-heat and turn to toffee).
Allow to cool for 1/2 an hour.
-Beat two large eggs in a small bowl or a cup and add to the fruit mixture and sift 8 ounces of self raising flour (sorry can't help you there!) with a scant half teaspoon of mixed spice (or combine a little each of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) and stir into the rest of the cake mixture. Stir well (no need for a food mixer)
-turn into a 7inch diameter deep round cake ti/cake pan.
-Bake in the oven at 325F/170C for 30 minutes then at 300F/150C for a further hour and a half. Stand for 1/2 an hour then turn out onto a cooling rack until until completely cold.
This cake keeps and improves with keeping. Store in a plastic food box at room temp until ready to eat.
How does that grab you? (All my own work so no probs with copyright but the inspiration came from a not very exciting (in fact very, very dull)cake in an old cookery book which is now out of print.) It's a very forgiving cake as you can see from the list of ingredients. The fruit never sinks and you can make it a week or more before you need it. No need to refridgerate under normal circumstances. If you want to keep it for a long time (why?) you can wrap it well and put it in the freezer.
The only thing I'd say as a word of warning is - don't use crystallised ginger even if you love it. I did and it didn't work!
Hope I haven't missed anything out. I've made it so often that it's imprinted on my memory!