Notes: While I no longer have the time to make twenty loaves of fruitcake to sell and give away, my family still enjoys having it at Christmastime. Previous recipes I've used have produced delicious fruitcake, but I'm always looking for new recipes to try. This year, I found one by Melissa Clark that sounded good.
To start, at the beginning of December, I made sound candied Meyer lemon peel. This turned out to be disappointing because these lemons have such thin pith layers that you really just end up with small strips of candied zest. I added these homemade peels to the dried fruit and ginger, and poured a bottle of rum over everything. It took a few more days before I was able to find an LCBO store carrying Manischewitz kosher wine. This article from the New York Times mentions that it's preferred by some over the traditional rum or port. Melting pot, indeed.
After about two weeks, I was ready to make the cake. My dad prefers a bit of chew and texture in his fruitcake, so I only pureed half of the fruit mixture. I also added chopped cashews, pistachios and walnuts to the batter. You need your biggest mixing bowl to make this so plan ahead. Instead of the odd combination of pans called for in the recipe, I used four loaf pans, varying in size between 8.5×4.5" and 9×5".
Three of the cakes were designated for my family to enjoy over the holidays, while I kept one for myself. This recipe makes a pretty good fruitcake: lots of real dried fruit, complex flavours from molasses, cocoa and the alcohols and a moist, soft texture. I'm looking forward to taking out the rest of my loaf from the freezer every now and again to enjoy a piece.