FRUITCAKE FOR CHRISTMAS   
  Ingredients :
    1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 cup brown sugar
    3 eggs
    3 tablespoons brandy or similar
    Juice of 1 orange
    1 teaspoon orange zest
    1 teaspoon lemon zest
    cup ground almonds
    1 cup nuts or pecans, chopped
    5 oz pitted prunes, chopped
    5 oz apricot, chopped
    5 oz candied fruit
    5 oz dry figs, chopped
    3 oz candied oranges
    4 oz dried pears, chopped
    3 oz black raisins
    3 oz light raisins
    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    teaspoon salt
    Brandy (extra for brushing the cake)

  Preparation:

Butter an 8 in (20 cm) pan with a removable bottom and line the bottom of the pan with buttered parchment paper. Line the sides of pan with a buttered strip of parchment paper 2 in. above the pan. Whip butter until fluffy and ADD eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add brandy, juice and orange zest, lemon zest and mix. Fold in ground almonds, chopped nuts, dried fruit and candied fruit.

In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder and fold into cake preparation.
Transfer preparation to the prepared pan and place pan on a cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven to 325F (160C) for 1 hour. Reduce oven temperature to 300F (150C) and continue baking for 1 hours more or until a tester or a skewer comes out with a few crumbs.
Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely on a rack.
Make holes with a skewer on the top surface of the cake. Brush brandy and wrap cake in plastic film and aluminum foil. Place cake in a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator. Brush cake with brandy once or twice a week until Christmas. This cake can be refrigerated for several weeks and can be frozen.
 
        14 16 servings
       
 
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