This recipe is a bit different in that you leave a lot of the fruit whole and it is layered with the batter. Raisins, walnuts and mixed peel are stirred into the batter, and that is layered with dates stuffed with almonds, candied pineapple, whole brazil nuts and whole cherries (I use both red and green). It looks lovely when cut as you see the layers. The recipe makes three good-sized loaves, so Gail and I split the cost, shared the work (and fun!) and the cakes. It certainly went much faster with four hands instead of two. I must credit my friend and former colleague Cari Grierson with this recipe, I got it from her years ago when we taught together. Here is her original recipe and then I'll tell you what I do differently.
Whole Fruit Layered Fruitcake
Fruit to leave whole:
1 lb. dates, stuffed with blanched almonds
1 lb. glazed pineapple, cut in thin slices
1 lb. whole brazil nuts
1 lb. glazed whole cherries (red, green, or 1/2 lb. of each)
Fruit for batter:
|Folding in the egg whites|
1 lb. walnut pieces
1/2 lb. mixed peel
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
7 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
7 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Line 3 large loaf pans with 3 layers of brown paper and then 3 layers of waxed paper. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar, add egg yolks and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla to milk. Sift dry ingds. together. Add milk and dry ingds. alternately, beginning and ending with dry ingds. Fold in raisins, walnuts and peel. Lastly fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Preheat oven to 250° F.
In your prepared pans, layer batter, stuffed dates, batter, pineapple, batter, brazil nuts, batter, cherries, and batter. Bake at 250°F for 2.5-3 hours. (I place two pans of hot water on the lower oven racks to add some moisture). Let cakes sit one hour before removing from pans. Let cool completely before wrapping in saran wrap and foil. Freeze or place in a cool spot for several weeks before cutting. (Of course you may also wrap in a brandy or rum-soaked cloth before the foil, if you wish.)
|Fruit prepared and "divided"|
When I made this the first time, years ago, I "ran out" of fruit for the third cake. I guess I had packed the fruit too closely together in the first two. So now I buy a bit more than one pound of each of the "whole" fruit - probably 1 1/4 pounds of each. Then I divide each fruit into three equal "piles", so I have the same amount for each pan (no more running short for the final pan). I do this the previous evening. As well it saves some time to prepare your pans ahead, as it takes a while to do all the layers of paper. Gail did a great job on the papers, while I mixed the batter on Friday.
The only change I make in the batter is that I use more vanilla - I use 2 teaspoons instead of 1.
When layering the batter and fruit- be careful not to use too much batter - just enough to cover the fruit. You will need a total of 5 layers of batter times 3 pans - 15 layers, so don't be too generous... Better to have a little left for a more generous top layer, than to run out...
|Starting the layers...not too much batter!|
|Layering the whole fruit|
|Ready for the oven!|
|Three hours later... Mmmm, smells sooo good!|
Be merry all, be merry all,
With holly dress the festive hall;
Prepare the song, the feast, the ball,
To welcome merry Christmas.
~William Robert Spencer