In Britain, this dense fruit cake is a popular choice for celebrations. This may just be the best fruit cake you ever had.
- 2½ cups raisins
- 2 cups pitted chopped prunes
- 2 cups candied cherries
- 2 cups peeled, cored, and finely chopped Golden Delicious apples
- 1 1/3 cups golden raisins
- 2½ cups hard apple cider or pear cider
- 4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 12 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1¼ cups almond flour (almond meal)
- 8 oz (240g) ready-to-roll fondant
- Confectioners sugar, for rolling
- 3 tbsp apricot preserves, warmed and strained
- 9-in (23cm) square × 3-in (7.5cm) deep cake pan
1. The day before baking, bring all the fruit, cider, and spice to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand at least 12 hours at room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) Lightly butter the cake pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the flour mixture and ground almonds, then the soaked fruit and its liquid. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
4. Bake for about 2½ hours, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 mins. Invert and unmold the cake and remove the paper and let cool.
5. Knead the fondant and roll into a 9in (23cm) square about 1/8 in (3mm) thick. Brush the cake with the preserves. Place the fondant on the cake. Cut into pieces and serve.