Nona’s English Fruit Cake

Nona Fruitcake
A Christmas Tradition in our house, the fruitcake was always made in June or July to ensure it was well-aged before serving. In the intervening time, it would be wrapped in cheesecloth and that tightly wrapped in plastic, and all held in an airtight cookie box. Regularly, Dad would open the package up, and load it with either port or brandy, as the spirit moved him. Then he would cut a piece for him and I to taste. He was not a big drinker, but the fruitcake had to be potent. He usually preferred a cake that was aged for over a year and sticky with port/brandy that had turned to syrup when it fully infused the dried fruit.
Although we are Anatolian Greek, Nona didn't like the English sound of the Greek word for "Grandmother" Yiaya, which sounded too much to her like "Ya YA"...she wanted to be called by the Italian word Nona, instead.
Nona's English Fruitcake

 

Nona's English Fruitcake

English Fruit Cake

A Christmas Tradition in our house, the fruitcake was always made in June or July to ensure it was well-aged before serving. In the intervening time, it would be wrapped in cheesecloth and that tightly wrapped in plastic, and all held in an airtight cookie box. Regularly, Dad would open the package up, and load it with either port or brandy, as the spirit moved him. Then he would cut a piece for him and I to taste. He was not a big drinker, but the fruitcake had to be potent. He usually preferred a cake that was aged for over a year and sticky with port/brandy that had turned to syrup when it fully infused the dried fruit.
Although we are Anatolian Greek, Nona didn't like the English sound of the Greek word for "Grandmother" Yiaya, which sounded too much to her like "Ya YA"...she wanted to be called by the Italian word Nona, instead.
Servings: 6 1lb cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Seedless Raisins
  • 1 lb Currants
  • lb ½ Sliced Candied Citron
  • 1/4 lb Orange & Lemon or Grapefruit Peel
  • 10 oz Dates
  • 1/2 cup Candied Cherries or Pineapple
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Mace
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Clove
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 lb Almond Meal
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 cup Sherry

Instructions

  • Put raisins through the fruit chopper and cut the dates into fine strips with scissors. Mix with the other fruits and dredge with flour which has been sfited with spices and salt.
  • Cream shortning and sugar, add the eggs and beat until very light. Stir in the fruit, flour mixture, eggs, lemon juice, and sherry until all are used.
  • Spoon the batter into pans that have been well-greased and lined with greased paper.
  • This recipe yields a 6lb cake weighed after baking (or 6 x 1lb cakes)
  • The cake may be baked in a slow oven (325º) for three hours.
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