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Dark and Rich Fruitcake

4 cups candied citron, fruit and peels
2 cups dried apricots, chopped
1 cup raisins, seedless, dark or golden
1 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup dark rum
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup butter (not margarine), melted, cooled
1/4 cup light molasses

Mix fruits and pecans together in a bowl and pour rum into bowl.
Mix well. Let the rum soak into the fruit for about 8 hours. Mix
the fruit every hour or so.

Preheat oven to 300F. Prepare tube pan: grease sides and bottom.
This recipe will fill one large bunt pan (12 cup/10" dia.) If using
loaf pans, line bottom with foil or paper.

In a very large bowl, mix flour, spices, baking powder, and salt.
Stir until spices are evenly blended throughout. This is the dry
ingredients bowl.

In a third bowl beat eggs until fluffy. Add brown sugar, half the
orange juice, molasses, and butter. Mix, making sure that all the
sugar dissolves. This is the liquid ingredients bowl.

Pour off any liquid from fruit mixture into the liquids bowl. Add
the fruit and the nuts to the dry ingredients bowl. Mix until all
fruit and nut pieces are coated. Then pour in the contents of the
liquids bowl and mix gently until you have an evenly-mixed batter.
Use reserved orange juice to adjust thickness of batter. The
finished batter should not be too runny or too thick. It should
be gooey but the batter should not run off the fruit and nuts toward
the bottom of the bowl. If you have the right consistency, a
heaping spoonful of the batter should not self level--it should
stay heaped up on the spoon.

Spoon the batter into the pan and bake at 300F for 1 hour. Cover
pan with foil and bake for 1 hour more or until toothpick inserted
in center comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes before removing
from pan. Peel off any paper/foil from bottom very carefully.

Wrap the fruitcake tightly in two layers of aluminum foil. For
the next 3 to 4 weeks, open the foil and sprinkle a little rum over
bottom and top of the cake once a week. Keep cake tightly covered
and store in a cool dark place. If you don't like rum, try a
different recipe.

You need a total of 8 cups of assorted dried/candied fruit for this
recipe. Fruit can include dried figs, dates, apples, etc.


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