For a lot of people, Christmas just wouldn't be complete without a good old-fashioned fruitcake. Here's a recipe for dark fruitcake. The variation for the light fruitcake is below it.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t ground allspice
1/4 t ground cloves
3/4 cup diced mixed candied fruits and peels, or, snipped mixed dried fruit
1/2 cup raisins or snipped pitted dates
1/2 cup candied red or green cherries, quartered
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice or apple juice
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 T light molasses
Brandy or fruit juice
Grease an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan. Line bottom and sides of pan with brown paper to prevent burning. Grease paper. Set pan aside. In a bowl, stir together flour and spices. Add fruit and nuts. Mix ingredients well.
In another bowl, beat eggs; stir in brown sugar, juice, butter, and molasses till combined. Stir into fruit mixture. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in a 300° oven for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or till a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cover with foil after 1 hour of baking to prevent overbrowning. Place cake in pan on wire rack and cool completely.
Remove cake from pan. Wrap cake in brandy or fruit-juice-moistened cheesecloth. Wrap this package in foil. Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 weeks to mellow flavors. Remoisten cheesecloth about once a week or as needed. Makes 16 servings.
Light Fruitcake Recipe:
Prepare as above except: Omit nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Substitute light-colored corn syrup for the molasses. Add 1 t. finely shredded lemon peel and 1 T. lemon juice with the corn syrup.
When making the Dark Fruitcake, my grandmother would substitute Brandy for that 1/2 cup of fruit juice (Woo-eee!). Also she kept it for only a week before starting to eat it.