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Rich Dark Fruitcake
December 31, 2007

My parents have a hallmark fruitcake made in Texas, the memory of which I was working against in making this recipe at my father's request. Given that there are only three of us sharing Christmas, I halved the recipe and took some liberties because of what we had in the kitchen, as well as trying to match the Empress Fruitcake of Yore. I added dried apricots and some withered blueberries, because of what we had on hand, and omitted the sultanas and currents, going heavier on dates. I also substituted pecans for almonds. My father also wanted the taste of burbon so I soaked the raisins in burbon for a few days, drained them well and used the burbon-raisin juice instead of coffee and grape juice. I suggest that you read the recipe carefully for the myriad of steps -- beaten egg whites, beaten egg yolks and the flour mixtures all in separate bowls that converge quite quickly. It makes for a BIG project and heavy clean up. The recipe also calls for three differently sized "Christmas cake" pans, the like of which I've never seen and do not see the reason for -- it's not a stacked cake, after all. I used loaf pans and baked the minimum 2 1/2 hours. I used two layers of greased brown paper but only on the bottom of the pans; after running a sharp knife around the greased edges, the cakes dropped out easily. The next time I make this (and I think I will -- it did, essentially, match that acme of fruitcakes from my childhood) -- I won't chop the fruit and nuts as small as I

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