Oh, I forgot the almost-best part: it's called Dowager Duchess Fruitcake! I think I saved it for the name alone. It's full of candied orange peel and almonds, but there is cake too, reminiscent of pound cake. The original recipe called for sherry, which sounded too dowager-y and dowdy to me. I used rum, then doused it with Amaretto, about ⅓ cup for each cake over a month, making it potent and tasty too. I won't get up on a fruitcakey soapbox and try to convince you that this is the fruitcake that will erase all your bad fruitcake memories like so many well-meaning folks have done to me, but I will say that I like it very much indeed.
|What I used for a half recipe|
Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 2-9" loaves, apparently, but it wouldn't fit in my loaf pan. I made 2-6" cakes instead from a half recipe
1 pound/454 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pounds 4 ounces/1 kilogram candied orange peel, cut in 1 cm pieces (I made my own, but you can buy it too)
15 ounces/425 grams whole blanched almonds
2½ cups sugar
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons Amaretto or rum, plus extra for soaking
4 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 300℉/150℃. Line cake pans with buttered parchment paper. Combine orange peel and almonds in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl after each addition. Add Amaretto/rum.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour a cup at a time, beating only until combined. Fold in orange peel/almond mixture.
- Divide batter amongst pans. You can fill to the top as it doesn't rise. Bake until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 1 to 1¼ hours. Remove from oven and douse each cake with 2-3 tablespoons Amaretto, depending on size of cakes. Let cool completely on rack.
- Remove cakes from pans and discard parchment. Wrap in cheesecloth and store in a tin in a cool, dark place for 1 month, dousing them with Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons) once a week. I alternated soaking the top and bottom and turned the cakes every week.
- Slice thinly to serve.