CARIBBEAN TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKE
- 1 lb prunes, seeded and chopped
- 1 lb raisins
- 1 lb currants
- 1 lb sultanas
- 1/4 lb mixed peel
- 1/2 lb cherries, chopped in half
- 1/4 lb chopped almonds
- 1-1/2 cups cherry brandy
- 2 cups dark rum
- 2 cups or 1 lb butter
- 2 cups or 1 lb brown or granulated sugar
- 10 large eggs
- 2 tsp grated lime peel
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 lb or 4 cups flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (or more) browning
- 1 cup mix of rum, cherry brandy and sherry
Take as long as you wish; a few days, weeks, months or a year before baking. Begin by combining prunes, raisins, currants, sultanas, mixed peel, cherries, almonds, cherry brandy and rum. Let the mix soak for as long as you can allow.
It is baking day. Line three eight-inch round cake pans with double layers of wax paper. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add lime peel and vanilla.
Next combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon, then fold into creamed mixture gradually. Add your soaked fruit and enough browning to achieve the desired color, stirring well all the while. Now, pour your mix into the baking pans, filling ‘em about 3/4 of the way. Bake in preheated oven at 250°F for one hour. Then, reduce heat to between 200 and 225 for another 90 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
At last, prick the hot cake and add more of your rum, cherry brandy and sherry mix. Cover and set aside. As the alcohol soaks in, add more, periodically for at least another 12 hours.
It is now that long awaited moment to savour the rich blends of fruit and rum and cake with your first bite.