We go and visit family (which of course includes numerous grandkids) and by the time we come home I know the ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ story by Dr. Seuss off by heart (how many times in a row can one person read the book?). Maybe it’s the rhyming words, the silly pictures, or the stubbornness of the Cat in the Hat not liking green eggs and ham and then wow. He changes his mind and says “I like green eggs and ham!” It’s how I feel when it comes to the traditional Christmas fruitcake. No I don’t like fruitcake—it’s way too sweet, full of all these coloured dried fruit pieces and heavy—but it is tradition. I found a recipe that I like and it’s a compromise.
Dried Cherry-Almond Fruitcake
Two of my favourite dried fruits, apricots and cherries, are used in this recipe. What I like about this recipe is the amount of dried fruit and nuts is measured in pounds so when I go to Bulk Barn I can buy the exact amount and won’t have any leftovers sitting in my cupboard. I left out the raisins because of two family members that won’t eat them.
1.5 pounds pitted dried cherries
1.5 pounds dried apricots
1 pound slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup golden raisins
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
6 large eggs
3 Tbsp rum
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup amber rum
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 10-inch diameter angel food cake pan. Line bottom with parchment paper.
Toss the dried fruit and nuts with 1/2 cup flour in a large bowl to coat.
Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in another large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Beat in rum, maple syrup and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in dried fruit mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan, flattening to eliminate air pockets. Bake until tester inserted near center of cake comes out clean and cake is deep golden brown, about one hour and 30 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes.
FOR SYRUP: Whisk rum and maple syrup in bowl. Spoon half over warm cake in pan. Let stand until absorbed. Cut around cake to loosen; invert onto platter. Peel off paper. Spoon remaining syrup over cake. Let stand about four hours. Keep cake in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze up to a month.