a day in advance -- combine cherries, raisins and Bourbon in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in refrigerator overnight.
2 cups whole, red candied cherries
2 cups white, seedless raisins (sometimes called "Golden" Raisins)
2 cups Bourbon (Do splurge -- use your favorite brand*; the taste does come through in the end.)
5 cups sifted all-purpose flour (Wondra works well.)
4 cups pecan halves
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups softened butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups firmly packed, dark-brown sugar
8 eggs, separated
Be sure, a day in advance of baking this fruitcake, to
combine cherries, raisins and bourbon in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in refrigerator overnight.
Be sure to save the liquid drained from this fruit; it's a prime ingredient in
Preheat oven to 275° F.
Remove steeping fruit mixture from refrigerator; drain liquid, saving non-absorbed, bourbon from soaked fruit to use as liquid in cake batter. Allow these ingredients to reach room temperature as you prepare pans, etc
Grease one each of the following: 6, 8, and 10-round layer-cake pans. Line bottom of each cake pan with waxed paper. Grease and lightly flour waxed paper.
Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Set aside.
Combine ½ cup flour with the four cups of the pecan halves.
In a large bowl, sift remaining 4 ½ cups flour with baking powder, salt and freshly grated nutmeg.
Place softened butter in large bowl of electric mixer. Beat butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add sugars gradually, beating at medium speed until well blended.
Add egg yolks, beating until well blended.
Add two cups of the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend thoroughly. Drain remaining bourbon from fruit. Add it and remaining dry ingredients alternately, ending with dry ingredients. Beat well after each addition, scraping sides of bowl often.
Fold stiffly beaten egg whites gently into cake batter. Add drained fruits and floured pecans. Blend carefully but thoroughly.
Pour batter into prepared pans: allow 2 cups for 6 layer, 5 cups for 8 layer and 7 cups for 10 layer.
Place pans in oven and bake: 6 layer for about one hour, 8 and 10 layers for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans on wire rack about 10 minutes. Remove from pans, peel off waxed paper and cool completely. Wrap cakes in cheesecloth saturated with bourbon and then wrap in plastic wrap and lastly, wrap in aluminum foil. Store in refrigerator for several weeks. Unwrap cakes.
Frost with Swirl Frosting, if desired. See recipe following. Or, serve as is; perfect for the bourbon fans among you.
Yield: 3 fruitcakes, or a tiered cake.
¾ cup light corn syrup
¾ cup sugar
3 egg whites
Few grains salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine syrup and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over moderate (250° F.) heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and bubbles appear around edge of pan.
Remove from heat.
Place egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in a small bowl; beat until almost stiff.
Gradually pour in hot syrup in a thin stream, beating constantly. Add vanilla and beat 3 to 5 minutes, until frosting stands in stiff peaks and appears less shiny.
Makes enough frosting to fill and frost one three-tier cake.
The preceding cake recipe may be made in a 10-inch tube pan. (Put any leftover batter in a small loaf pan.)
Pour cake batter to within one inch of top of tube pan. Bake tube cake 4 ½ to 5 hours and loaf cake 2 hours or until a cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
Cool in pans for two to three hours; remove cakes from pans and peel off waxed paper.
'04-'05: After filling four 6- and 7- inch deep, round pans, had just enough left to make six, larger-size cupcakes -- used same technique preparing the pan. They cooked at least 30 minutes; keep an eye on them.
For the family: the last couple of years, Poppy has been making these in a variety of pan sizes as well as cupcake size. Consult him for updates.
Recently he commented: The last time I made this
cake in 2009, I made
1 11/14 in rectangular 30 oz = 1# 14 oz
1 8 in square 48 oz = 3#
1 6 1/2 in round 29 oz = 1# 13oz
4 4 in round each 6 oz = 24 oz total or 1/3 # each
TOTAL = 131 oz or 8.2 #
*If you do not have a favorite Bourbon, just do not buy Old Stagger. Pick a mid-shelf brand with a decent taste; it definitely comes through in the finished product. If you do not like the taste of Bourbon, clearly you should be making Rum Cake instead.
This recipe has been eaten by friends of after lots of kitchen testing.
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