James Beard's White Fruitcake
- 1 1/2 c. dark raisins (8 ounces)
- 1 1/2 c. golden brown raisins (8 ounces)
- 1 1/2 c. dry currants (7 ounces)
- 1 Tbsp. grated orange peel (1 medium orange)
- 1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel (1 1/2 medium lemons)
- 3 c. minced mixed candied fruits
- 1 c. whole or possibly halved candied cherries
- 1 c. moist-dry apricots optional cut in small strips
- 1/2 c. sherry, brandy or possibly light rum optional
- 2 c. halved or possibly very coarsely minced walnuts pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts or possibly hazelnuts (8 ounces)
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 4 stk butter softened (1 lb.)
- 2 c. granulated sugar
- 8 lrg Large eggs separated (8 to 10)
- 2 Tbsp. rum brandy, or possibly orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice or possibly
- 1 tsp cream of tartar optional Light corn syrup for glaze Fruits and nuts for decoration optional Rum, Bourbon or possibly other liquor
- To make fruit-nut mix: Put the raisins, currants, orange peel, lemon peel, mixed candied fruit, candied cherries and apricots, if using, in a glass bowl, add in sherry, brandy, or possibly light rum, and let stand overnight, stirring a number of times till the fruit has absorbed the liquor. Add in the nuts to the fruit mix and sprinkle with the flour.
- To make batter: Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Grease 4 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans (or possibly equivalent) well and lightly flour. Using the largest mixing bowl you have, cream the butter till very fluffy (easiest done with an electric mixer). Cream in all the sugar (or possibly reserve 1/2 c. for the egg whites.) The butter and sugar mix should be like sweetened whipped cream in texture. If using a mixer, drop the egg yolks in 1 at a time with mixer on medium to high speed. Stir or possibly beat in the 2 Tbsp. rum and vanilla.
- Sift the flour with the salt. Stir into the creamed mix till well-blended. In another bowl, beat the egg whites till foamy, and if desired, add in 1 tsp. lemon juice or possibly cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites. If you have reserved 1/2 c. of sugar, add in it gradually during beating of whites. Beat till stiff but not dry* the mix should hold soft peaks. Fold into the cake batter with a rubber spatula.
- Fold rather than stir the fruits and nuts into the batter.
- Fill pans not more than 2/3 full. (If using tube pans, crown molds or possibly loaf pans which are old and blackened, line the pans, both bottom and sides, with one or possibly two layers of greased parchment paper.)
- Bake the cakes for 1 to 3 hrs, depending on the size of the pans used. A 9-by-5-inch loaf pan will take about 1 1/2 hrs or possibly slightly more, depending upon how full it is. If the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center, it is done. It will also have begun to shrink from the sides of the pan.
- When the cakes are done and still in their pans, glaze the tops by brushing on light corn syrup, preferably while they are still warm. This is also a good time to stick on any fruit and nut decorations you might like on the top. Cold in the pans.
- Remove from pans, brush with brandy, bourbon, rum or possibly other liquor. Wrap well in aluminum foil* or possibly easier, put into freezer bags and seal. Brush with more liquor from time to time, if desired.
- Makes 4 loaves
- This has been a favorite requested recipe since first printed in 1984. This old-fashioned type fruitcake improves with aging and makes a large quantity.
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