Looking for a delicious festive cake to enjoy over the Holidays? Enter my Mother's recipe for our delicious family fruit cake! Follow our recipe below:
1kg / 2.2lb mixed dried fruit (currants, sultanas, raisins, diced apricots, prunes, figs and cranberries)
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
150ml / 3.5oz brandy, plus extra for feeding
250g / 0.5lb softened pack butter
200g / 0.5lb light soft brown sugar
175g / 0.38lb plain flour
100g / 0.22lb ground almond
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
100g / 0.22lb flaked almond
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place your dried fruit, zest and juice, brandy, butter, and sugar in a large pan. Put it on medium heat, bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Then move the fruit to a bowl and leave it to cool for about half an hour. Keep the liquids from the pan on the side for now.
Heat your oven to 150C (300F). Line a deep 20cm (8in) cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment. Mix the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and spices in a very large mixing bowl, then add the flaked almonds, cooled soaked fruits, and liquids from the pan along with the eggs and the vanilla extract.
Spoon the mixture into your tin. Level the top and cover it with a disc of baking paper. Then, bake in the centre of the oven for around 2 hrs or until firm to the touch. It also needs to pass the skewer test. So it'll be ready only once a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean.
When it does, it’s time to remove the cake from the oven. Poke some holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen brandy. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin. We like to feed the cake with 4 tablespoons of brandy every two weeks up until Christmas. We don’t normally ice the Christmas cake but if you want to, then don’t feed it with brandy just before.
And remember you don’t need to make the cake 12 weeks before Christmas! If you make your cake nearer to Christmas (like we do), it's absolutely fine and it will still taste delicious!