My house smells very yeasty right now. This past weekend, hubs and I bottled the Oaked Cherry wine I started back in June. It still needs a bit of aging, but I think it will be very nice. So, I started a batch of Harvest Fig Wine. So far, so good, but the yeasty beasties are having a party in my spare bathroom.
It's also time to make the Annual Besotted Fruitcakes. I know, I know, but these are unlike ANYTHING you've ever had and will develop a cult following. I call them "Holiday Rum Cakes" to avoid the stigma. It must be the booze.
Lemon Yellow "Holiday Rum Cake"
- ½ to ¾ liter rum
- 1 lb. dried fruit mix (cherries, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries) – Do not use the candied “fruit cake” fruit mix you see in the store with those nasty red and green maraschino cherries! Do not use dried pineapple or citrus peel. Just dried fruit. Sam’s and Target carry a brand called Stoneridge that I’ve used every year.
- ½ lb of chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts
- 1 lb butter, softened
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 4 cups white cake flour
- ¼ cup lemon extract (yes, ¼ cup)
24 hours before baking: Pour rum, dried fruit, and nuts into a glass dish and let macerate for 24 hours.
When ready to bake: Strain fruit and nut mixture, save infused rum for basting. Preheat oven to 300°. Beat butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Beat in half of the eggs, then half of the flour, then the rest of the eggs, then the rest of the flour. Beat in lemon extract, add strained fruit and nuts to batter, and mix with a wooden spoon.
Take two loaf pans and line them with parchment paper (this is important). Spray parchment paper with Pam, then spoon batter into loaf pans. If you do not use the parchment, the cakes will stick, even with non-stick pans!
Bake for 45 minutes, then cover the pans with tin foil and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Watch carefully near the end of the cooking time. As soon as the cakes start to pull away from the edges or resist when you poke them gently, they are ready. It’s better to under bake than over bake. Let them rest on a rack until they’ve cooled to room temp.
When they are cooled but still in the pans, poke holes in the top of the cakes with a toothpick. Take a basting brush and brush the tops of the cakes very liberally with the infused rum. Pull cakes out of pans, unwrap and turn over, and do the same with the bottom. When through, wrap cakes with parchment, and store in Rubbermaid containers in the refrigerator.
Refrigerate remaining infused rum and baste the cakes with the rum on both sides, once a week till Christmas.