Dark Fruit Cake © llizard aka ejm 2000, 2002

(for Christmas and/or weddings - make at least 4 weeks in advance of event)
one recipe makes batter for two 8x8x3 inch pans

My mother makes 1½ times the recipe and uses the 10x10x3, 8x8x3, 6x6x3, pans; sometimes there's a bit left for a 4x4x3. She fills them to about 2¼ inches.

Ingredients Preparation
  1. Put all the fruit into a very large bowl. Pour brandy over fruit mixture and let stand for a day.

  2. The next day, add two thirds of the nuts. Sift dry ingredients over fruit and nut mixture, mix thoroughly.

  3. In another bowl, cream butter until very soft. Gradually add white sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time.

  4. Add sherry, strawberry jam and vanilla.

  5. Add the wet ingredients to the fruit and nut mixture; mix thoroughly with hands.

  6. Heat the rest of the almonds in oven until piping hot (when you smell them, they are ready) and add at the very last. Mix thoroughly.

  7. Pour into pans lined with 3 layers of buttered paper. Bake at 250F for 4 hours.

Many thanks to my mother for allowing me to post my grandmother's recipe. Mom says that Nana always remembered to set aside the 1/3 lb almonds to be heated and added to the cake mixture at the end. But she says that most of the time she has forgotten and put all the nuts in with the fruit and flour mix. She lines her pans with paper from brown paper grocery bags, buttered on the unprinted side.

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