Originally Posted by Eachna
I'm American and my husband is Australian.
My husband loves fruitcake. I loathe it and find it somewhat incomprehensible.
However, he is incapable of finding a commercial version of a fruitcake that he likes. I tried asking my Mother-in-Law for her recipe, but she's refused to share it. All I know is she soaked it in some sort of alcohol for about a month, and she bought assorted small jars of candied fruit peel. And she called it "Christmas pud". Oh, and I learned my husband doesn't like ginger, so the fruitcake probably shouldn't have ginger in it.
I'm at my wit's end...because...I know nothing about fruitcakes and so I have no context for what's "good" or "bad" in them.
Allow me to offer the recipe I use (which I developed from a really boring dry fruit cake) is as follows.
Put 1lb mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants and chopped mixed candied citrus peel - available ready mixed in packets here in the UK - worth having a look in the States but easily mixed at home.) and about 4 ounces other glace fruits (cherries, mango, papaya, pineapple or what you will) in a saucepan with 4 oz butter (1 stick?) 4 oz brown sugar and 1/4 (UK) pint liquid (5 fluid ounces - I use half and half whisky , brandy or rum and water for every day but less water and more "hooch" for special occasions. If you don't "do" alcohol you could use orange juice or water or tea.)
Bring this to a simmer stirring to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring from time to time (don't go away and leave it or it might turn to toffee!) then remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 1/2 and hour.
Then add 2 beaten eggs and 8 oz self raising flour sifted with 1/2 a teaspoon mixed spice (optional), stir well and put into a deep 7" diameter cake pan which has been lined with baking parchment (I don't grease it but you can if you'd rather).
Bake in a pre-heated oven 325 degrees F/170 degrees C/gas mark 3 for 1/2 and hour. Then reduce the temperature to 300F/150C/gas mark 2 for a further 1 and 1/2 hours. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning it our to cool on a wire cooling rack.
Store it in a tin or similar for a few days to eat it at it's best. It keeps for a couple of weeks or more if you can keep it away from the fruit cake lovers for that long.
This is absolutely fool-proof, doesn't need a food mixer and is moist and fruity. I make them by the dozen for bake sales and they are always scooped up by those who are in the know - one lady has been known to buy 6 at a time! People often say they don't like fruit cake but they like this!
You can play about with the fruit content adding more or a different mixture of fruits. I often make it as a Christmas cake, prodding it with a knitting needle kept for the purpose and pouring spoonsful of the same alcohol as I put in the mixture, over it a few days before covering with marzipan and royal icing and decorating it suitably.
No copyright on this (except mine and I give you all permission to make it and give away the recipe) Hope husband enjoys it.