I love fruitcake but sometimes it needs to be a bit more special without being a Christmas cake. This is a light “farmhouse” fruitcake style cake rather than a dense fruitcake, but with more interesting flavours. It’s a large cake and keeps well so anytime you are expecting a lot of visitors, or need a cake to share on a picnic, this is perfect.
The great thing about this cake is you can adapt it to use any dried fruit you like. I often get overly optimistic about the amount of dried fruit I will use when I go to Costco: how could I not get through over a kilo of dried cranberries or apricots, or more than 500g of dried cherries before they go out of date? Turns out it’s not actually that easy! I buy them because I love them and have all sorts of things I want to make that I just don’t always seem to get round to. At least I now have a lot of the ingredients for mincemeat and Christmas cake already. I just need to find a few more recipes to help use up those huge bags of walnuts and pecans…
I adapted this recipe from one I found in The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook, which is a beautiful book, full of recipes for seasonal, local and foraged food. It is the type of cookery book I aspire to write. Maybe one day.
550g dried fruit – sultanas, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, chopped apricots
150g brown sugar
150g caster sugar
450g SR flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Put the dried fruit into a large bowl and pour the water over it. Allow to stand for about an hour.
Grease, and line the base of, a 9″ round loose-based cake tin. Set the oven to 150ºC.
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Mix in the milk and add the dried fruit.
Sieve in the flour and cinnamon together and fold in carefully.
Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and level gently.
Bake for around 1½ – 1¾ hours until browned and firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Check after about an hour and a quarter and cover with aluminium foil if browning too quickly.
Allow to cool in the tin for a while before removing and leaving to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.